Quality of life assessment in HIV-positive persons: Application and validation of the WHOQOL-HIV, Italian version

F. Starace, L. Cafaro, N. Abrescia, A. Chirianni, C. Izzo, P. Rucci, G. De Girolamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


QoL assessment is currently considered essential for clinical trials in HIV infection, as commonly used end-points (CD4 level, viral load, opportunistic diseases) are inadequate to catch the complexity of treatment outcomes. The World Health Organization has recently developed a standardized set of instruments to assess subjective quality of life (QoL) in different medical conditions, including HIV infection. Here we report evidence for the acceptability, reliability and validity of the Italian version of the WHOQOL-HIV. The Italian version of WHOQOL-HIV has been administered in a sample of 151 HIV-positive persons, consecutively attending the largest infectious diseases hospital in southern Italy. Mean time of administration and percentage of missing responses, Cronbach alpha, Pearson coefficient and oneway ANOVA were applied to assess, respectively, acceptability, reliability, convergent and disciminant validity, and sensitivity to change. Mean time of administration was 28 minutes; only 2 questionnaires showed more than 20% of missing responses. Cronbach alpha was above 0.70 in 22 of the 28 sections of the WHOQOL-HIV; it ranged between 0.53 and 0.68 in the remaining 6 sections. Each of the 7 QoL principal domains correlated with overall QoL at a significance level p <0.001. Moreover, correlation between principal domains were always statistically significant (p <0.01) with only two exceptions. Finally, mean scores in each QoL domain were in the expected direction (worse in AIDS patients as compared to asymptomatic and symptomatic persons). The Italian version of WHOQOL-HIV is a valid and reliable instrument to assess subjective QoL in HIV-positive persons. It seems potentially useful to assess patients' life satisfaction, and to calibrate standards of care in different stages of the infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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