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Correlates of quality of life in symptomatic HIV patients living in Hong Kong

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This cross-sectional study assessed quality of life (QOL), coping styles, mood and uncertainty in illness in a non-random sample of 46 (out of 91 eligible) symptomatic HIV patients living in Hong Kong. QOL was moderate and the main concerns were related to the environmental aspects of QOL, spirituality and social relationships. Considerable mood disturbance was demonstrated in the sample, especially with regards to depression, fatigue and tension/anxiety. High levels of uncertainty in illness were also reported. A median split of the uncertainty score demonstrated that high uncertainty was related to lower levels of overall QOL (p = 0.04), higher psychological dysfunction (p = 0.05), worse adjustment with the environment (p < 0.001) and higher mood disturbance (p = 0.008). The sample predominantly used internal coping, which also correlated well with higher QOL scores. Through regression analysis it was shown that QOL could be predicted with the combined effects of uncertainty in illness and fatigue (adjusted R2 = 0.51, p < 0.001). Findings indicate that efforts should be directed towards improving QOL issues in the Chinese HIV patients and interventions could be introduced to alleviate those factors that were found to affect QOL. It is suggested that such interventions may include group or individual psychological therapies, management of fatigue and teaching patients more effective coping techniques.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Department of Nursing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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