Using PozQoL in clinical services

Image from ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock’s HIV in View collection

Why use PozQoL in clinical services

PozQoL can help clinicians measure and track the quality of life of HIV-positive patients. It is empirically validated, short (only 13 items), and easy to use. This makes it possible to integrate into day-to-day work with patients.

Clinicians who have used PozQoL in their practice report that it:

  • Revealed information they did not previously know about patients or clients
  • Identified patients who were not managing as well as the doctor had thought
  • Opened up discussions about referrals to community support services
  • Quantified information that the clinician already knew but hadn’t been able to track before
  • Allowed information about patient quality of life to be measured and tracked over time

💡 Tips for clinicians using PozQoL

The following tips were developed in consultation with clinicians who are using PozQoL in their work

When to administer PozQoL to your patients

We recommend administering PozQoL:

  • At intake — this provides baseline data and allows you to identify potential concerns as early as possible
  • Every 6 to 12 months — this provides ongoing opportunities to identify and address emerging concerns

*We have found that changes generally occur over periods of two or three months when targeted HIV services are provided. PozQoL trials in ongoing programs suggest that measurable changes to overall and domain scores do not tend to occur more quickly than this.

Overcoming time and logistical constraints

The amount of time that doctors can spend with each patient is often very limited. Ways to help reduce the time using PozQoL will take during an appointment include:

  • Ask patients to fill out the survey before their appointment or while in the waiting room (ViiV Healthcare have developed an online tool that can help facilitate this)
  • Administer PozQoL during longer appointments, such as annual health assessment appointments, such as annual health assessments
  • Incorporate PozQoL into an electronic patient outcome measure system if one is already in place
  • Get to know the PozQoL survey questions and health domains to make it easier to understand the scores and know what to focus on
  • Use the PozQoL calculator for individuals or ViiV’s online tool to quickly calculate scores

General considerations for clinicians

It is important to know your patients. For each person, consider:

  • How often they will be willing to take surveys — avoid survey fatigue
  • Whether they are likely to already have done PozQoL at another service — consider asking if they can bring their completed survey results instead
  • Whether you will have time to address their concerns in your consultation — avoid asking people to fill out surveys unnecessarily
  • For English speakers: their literacy level and whether they might require support to complete PozQoL
  • For speakers of languages other than English: their English proficiency and whether you can provide PozQoL in their own language, or provide a translator to help them complete PozQoL in English

  • Using PozQoL describes in more detail how to administer PozQoL and what to do with responses
  • PozQoL scale and tools provides links to the different language versions of the PozQoL scale and other tools to help you use it