Improve HIV care quality using quality of life measures

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Patient-reported outcome measures and HIV care quality

Research shows that using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) can help improve HIV care quality and patient outcomes.

PozQoL is a PROM that was designed specifically to be:

  • Relevant for people living with HIV
  • Short and easy enough for clinicians and other service providers to use in day-to-day practice

Using PROMs (such as PozQoL) in with patients and clients helps service providers:

  • Make their practice more person centred
  • Make better decisions
  • Recognise symptoms
  • Improve patient-clinician communication
  • Identify and address problems related to quality of life
  • Better understand patient experiences of HIV treatment
  • Identify areas of concern when working with individual patients or clients
  • Focus on and address the patient’s current needs

PROM results from multiple people can also help services to:

  • Monitor client wellbeing
  • Measure changes in quality of life over time
  • Evaluate the impact of their programs and interventions

This information can, in turn, inform structural and service-level changes, such as:

  • Better resource allocation and efficiency
  • Development of more targeted programs and services
  • Quality-improvement decisions

Person-centred values in HIV care

Person-centred values are increasingly important in HIV care. ‘Keeping people healthy and alive through person-centred and holistic care’ is one of the World Health Organization’s critical areas for fast-track action in their Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV.

As people grow older, their care needs change. Improved HIV treatments mean more people living with HIV are living longer, healthier lives. It also means that there are fewer new transmissions. As a result, the population of people living with HIV is ageing.

Increasingly, people ageing with HIV will need access to integrated, holistic, person-centred care. They will not only need their HIV-related needs met. They will also need services that can meet the wide range of health-related needs of any diverse, ageing population.

Moreover, services that do not specialise in HIV care — for example, the aged care sector — will need to be able to provide high-quality care to older people living with HIV without stigma or judgement.

The future of care for people living with HIV will need to involve a broad, person-centred response that prioritises:

  • The rights of people living with HIV to participate fully in their care decisions
  • People’s personal priorities (as opposed to focusing primarily on biomedical markers such as viral load)
  • Integrated approaches to care that can sufficiently address multimorbidity
  • Improving quality of life
  • Decreasing stigma and discrimination

Use of quality of life measures, such as PozQoL, can help facilitate such a person-centred response leading to better care and, ultimately, better outcomes for people living with HIV.