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Child Care Health Dev. 2009 Jul;35(4):440-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.00985.x.

Quality of life measurement in paediatric and adolescent populations with HIV: a review of the literature.

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  • 1The Division of Behavioral Medicine, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Mail Stop 740, Memphis, TN 38105-3678, USA.



To review the quality and utility of currently available self-report generic quality of life (QOL) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures for use with children and adolescents with human immunodeficiency virus and/or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).


Literature searches were conducted to identify QOL and HRQOL measures developed for, adapted for, or otherwise used with paediatric and adolescent populations with HIV/AIDS. The quality of measures (i.e. item generation techniques, instrument properties including reliability, validity and responsiveness) were compared and critically evaluated.


Nineteen QOL/HRQOL measures were identified. Item content was generated from the respondent (adult) population in only eight (42%) measures. Seventeen (90%) measures reported internal reliability in the accepted range between 0.70 and 0.90 and four (21%) reported reproducibility statistics in this range. Although validity was reported for 19 (100%) measures, only six (32%) showed evidence for three or more properties, with construct validity being the most commonly reported aspect. The authors of eight (42%) measures reported evidence for responsiveness.


While almost all measures reviewed demonstrated adequate psychometric properties, only one-third demonstrated all aspects of validity, and less than half demonstrated responsiveness. None included paediatric or adolescent populations with HIV/AIDS in their development, neglecting to obtain input from target respondents in item generation to determine what health-related and daily functioning factors are of importance to them. Despite noted limitations, the AUQUEI or the SWED-QUAL appear the best currently available generic measure, and the MQOL-HIV the preferred disease-specific measure, at least for use with older adolescents/young adults.

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