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West J Nurs Res. 2004 Feb;26(1):9-23; discussion 24-30.

The influence of symptoms on quality of life among HIV-infected women.

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Department of Nursing, California State University, Fresno, USA.


Symptoms serve as intervention foci for patients and health care providers. Research has established a relationship between symptoms and quality of life for persons living with HIV/AIDS. This article reports symptom prevalence and intensity data that include gynecological and cognitive symptoms self-reported by HIV-infected women (N = 118). Using a cross-sectional, descriptive design, data were obtained using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (MOS SF-36), and the revised Sign and Symptom Check-List for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (SSC-HIV). Prevalent symptoms were depression (83%), muscle aches (84%), weakness (80%), and painful joints (71%). Symptoms with the highest mean intensity, however, were headaches, rash, insomnia, vaginal itching, and shortness of breath at rest. Symptoms also significantly predicted role functioning. This study contributes to our understanding the nature of symptoms and the influence of symptoms on role and physical functioning among HIV-infected women.

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