Can HIV Patients Assess Their Own Quality of Life?

Bangkok, Thailand – The treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with medicines, so-called “Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART),” can prolong patients’ lives, but may affect their daily activities due to side-effects, drug interactions, or strict dosing schedules. As patients need to take the medicines for life, the assessment of individual health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is crucial for the treatment of HIV. Many questionnaires or instruments have long been used to assess HRQOL of HIV patients, however, the “patient-generated index” that is utilized in other diseases remained unproven in this patient group.

A research team at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand sought out to measure the HRQOL of Thai HIV patients using the patient-generated index for HIV (PGI-HIV) and compared the tool with two standardized instruments in terms of its accuracy, precision and usefulness. The researchers found that by using the PGI-HIV, the patients were able to report their own HRQOL, with the average PGI score of 0.60, indicating the use of medicines together with the disease decreased the patients’ quality of life by 40% from their healthy life.

The lead author of the study, Phantipa Sakthong, PhD, asserted, “This is the first study showing patients can help measure their own quality of life using PGI-HIV, which is beneficial for HIV monitoring and management.”

The full study, “Usefulness of Patient-Generated Index for HIV (PGI-HIV) to Measure Individual Quality of Life: A Study from Thailand,” is published in Value in Health Regional Issues, Volume 3.

Value in Health Regional Issues (ISSN 2212-1099) is a scientific journal that encourages and enhances the science of pharmacoeconomic/health economic and health outcomes research and its use in health care decisions. The journal is published up to three times a year with one issue focusing on the Asia region, one issue focusing on the Latin America region, and one issue focusing on the Central & Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Africa regions.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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