Fatigue, Quality of Life, Physical Function and Participation in Social, Recreational, and Daily Living Activities in Women Living with HIV: a Descriptive Study
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Objective(s): The purpose of this study was to describe the impact of fatigue on quality of life (QOL), physical function, and participation in social, recreational, and daily living activities (ADLs) in women living with HIV. Methods: HIV-infected women (n=15; age 44±8 years) were recruited from the Clinical Immunological Outpatient Clinic (CIOC) and the HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) in Kingston. Four questionnaires were completed to obtain information on demographics, fatigue (HIV-Related Fatigue Scale, HRFS), QOL (Medical Outcomes Survey HIV Healthy Survey (MOS-HIV), and valued social, recreational and daily living activities. Participants then performed the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) to assess their physical function. Assessments were conducted in the CIOC or in a gymnasium at another location. Results: Mean length of HIV infection was 12±5 years and 14 of the 15 women were on anti-retroviral therapy. Seven of the 15 women did not have significant issues with fatigue on the HRFS. The other 8 reported that fatigue severely interfered with ADLs, socialization and mental functioning. QOL scores were significantly lower in the fatigued group compared with the non-fatigued group in 8 of 11 sub-scales of the MOS-HIV; the values being approximately 50% of those in the non-fatigued group. Socializing with friends, walking, grocery shopping and cleaning were listed as activities in which participants experienced limitations. No significant differences were found between the fatigued and non-fatigued groups for the distance walked in the 6MWT or for the percent of predicted distance walked. Conclusions: Half of the women with HIV in this study reported that fatigue interfered with daily functioning and participation in day to day activities, impacting their QOL. These findings suggest that fatigue can be a major issue impacting QOL in this population; therefore, fatigue reduction should be one of the priorities of HIV-related medical management.