Measuring health-related quality of life of HIV-positive adolescents in resource-constrained settings

C. Masquillier, E. Wouters, J. Loos, C. Nöstlinger

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Access to antiretroviral treatment among adolescents living with HIV (ALH) is increasing. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is relevant for monitoring the impact of the disease on both well-being and treatment outcomes. However, adequate screening tools to assess HRQOL in low-resource settings are scarce. This study aims to fill this research gap, by 1) assessing the psychometric properties and reliability of an Eastern African English version of a European HRQOL scale for adolescents (KIDSCREEN) and 2) determining which version of the KIDSCREEN (52-, 27- and 10-item version) is most suitable for low-resource settings. METHODS: The KIDSCREEN was translated into Eastern African English, Luganda (Uganda) and Dholuo (Kenya) according to standard procedures. The reconciled version was administered in 2011 to ALH aged 13-17 in Kenya (n = 283) and Uganda (n = 299). All three KIDSCREEN versions were fitted to the data with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). After comparison, the most suitable version was adapted based on the CFA outcomes utilizing the results of previous formative research. In order to develop a general HRQOL factor, a second-order measurement model was fitted to the data. RESULTS: The CFA results showed that without adjustments, the KIDSCREEN cannot be used for measuring the HRQOL of HIV-positive adolescents. After comparison, the most suitable version for low-resource settings--the 27-item version--was adapted further. The introduction of a negative wording factor was required for the Dholuo model. The Dholuo (CFI: 0.93; RMSEA: 0.039) and the Luganda model (CFI: 0.90; RMSEA: 0.052) showed a good fit. All cronbach's alphas of the factors were 0.70 or above. The alpha value of the Dholuo and Lugandan HRQOL second-order factor was respectively 0.84 and 0.87. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that the adapted KIDSCREEN-27 is an adequate tool for measuring HRQOL in low-resource settings with high HIV prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)e40628
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Viral diseases
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Antiretrovirals
  • Adolescents
  • Quality of life
  • Psychosocial aspects
  • Tools
  • Measurement
  • Impact
  • Reliability
  • Questionnaires
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Africa-East


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