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Psychometric assessment of the Multidimensional Quality of Life Questionnaire for Persons Infected with HIV or with AIDS in a cohort of HIV-infected women Remple, Valencia Paulette

Abstract

This methodological study was designed to assess the psychometric properties of a relatively new HIV-specific quality of life questionnaire, the Multidimensional Quality of Life Questionnaire for Persons Living with HIV or with AIDS (MQOL-HIV), in a cohort of Canadian, HIV-infected women. The study was prompted by an identified lack of information regarding the validity and reliability of HIV-specific quality of life (QOL) scales in populations of HIV-infected women. The specific analyses conducted were content validity, concurrent validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability. The study was conducted in the fall of 2001 at the Oak Tree Clinic, British Columbia's outpatient referral centre for women, children, and families living with HIV. Seven health care professionals and six patients participated in the content validity testing, which involved rating the validity of the 40 items and 10 domains of the MQOL-HIV. Eighty-five patients participated in the concurrent validity and internal consistency testing, which involved baseline completion of the MQOL-HIV and the Medical Outcomes Study - HIV Health Survey (MOSHIV) during a clinic visit. Forty-three patients participated in the test-retest reliability testing, which involved completing a second MQOL-HIV two weeks after baseline. Content validity findings indicated that most of the items and all of the domains of the scale were valid for HIV-infected women, but that revision and replacement of some of the items were needed. Several important domains and aspects of domains were identified as missing from the scale. Five domains, the Summary Index, and the overall scale demonstrated strong concurrent validity when correlated with similar domains contained in the more commonly used MOS-HIV. Most of the domains demonstrated strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The findings were consistent with the literature, indicating that QOL scales require revalidation in new populations, and that dimensions and aspects of QOL may differ for HIVinfected women. Although the MQOL-HIV was developed with HIV-infected patients, some of whom were women, the need for subsequent validation in female populations was underscored. The content validity findings supported those found by others in that the QOL domains and aspects of salience may vary depending on gender and cultural context. This study represents one of the first of its kind to validate an HIV-specific QOL scale in women, and provides preliminary findings in terms of the unique dimensions of QOL for HIV-infected women.

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