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Interpreting PozQoL Scores

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How to interpret PozQoL Scores

The score thresholds presented below provide context for interpreting PozQoL Scores. Finding where your client’s scores sit in the tables below can help you understand what their scores tell you about their quality of life (QoL) compared to other people living with HIV.

This can serve as a guideline in initiating discussions about a client’s quality of life.

These thresholds are based on PozQoL studies of people with HIV in Australia. Further studies must be undertaken to fully understand if these thresholds are valid for other populations.


Thresholds for Average PozQoL Scores

Score RangeLow QoLModerate QoLHigh QoLVery High QoL
PozQoL (Overall QoL)≤ 2.842.85 – 3.533.54 – 4.14≥ 4.15
Psychological domain≤ 2.742.75 – 3.493.50 – 3.99≥ 4.00
Social domain≤ 2.322.33 – 3.323.33 – 3.99≥ 4.00
Health Concerns domain≤ 2.322.33 – 3.323.33 – 3.99≥ 4.00
Functional domain≤ 3.323.33 – 4.324.33 – 4.66≥ 4.67

Thresholds for Summary PozQoL Scores

Score RangeLow QoLModerate QoLHigh QoLVery High QoL
PozQoL (Overall QoL)≤ 3637 – 4546 – 53≥ 54
Psychological domain≤ 1011 – 1314 – 16≥ 17
Social domain≤ 67 – 910 – 12≥ 13
Health Concerns domain≤ 67 – 910 – 12≥ 13
Functional domain≤ 910 – 1112 – 14≥ 15

Related information:

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Example interpretations

Previously, we calculated these PozQoL Scores from this completed PozQoL Scale.

PozQoL Score TypeSummary ScoreAverage Score
PozQoL Score (Overall)483.69
Psychological Domain164.00
Social Domain124.00
Health Concerns Domain93.00
Functional Domain113.67

If we find where these scores sit in the threshold tables above, we can understand how our client’s QoL compares to other PLHIV.


Example of interpreting average PozQoL Scores

The following table shows the average PozQoL Score thresholds as well as the average PozQoL Scores we calculated previously. The calculated scores fall within the highlighted ranges.

Score RangeLow QoLModerate QoLHigh QoLVery High QoLOur Calculated Scores
PozQoL (Overall QoL)≤ 2.842.85 – 3.533.54 – 4.14≥ 4.153.69
Psychological domain≤ 2.742.75 – 3.493.50 – 3.99≥ 4.004.00
Social domain≤ 2.322.33 – 3.323.33 – 3.99≥ 4.004.00
Health Concerns domain≤ 2.322.33 – 3.323.33 – 3.99≥ 4.003.00
Functional domain≤ 3.323.33 – 4.324.33 – 4.66≥ 4.673.67

Therefore, we can say that the client’s PozQoL Scores indicate that they are experiencing:

  • High overall QoL
  • Very high quality of life in the psychological and social domains
  • Moderate quality of life in the health concerns and functional domains

Example of interpreting summary PozQoL Scores

Interpreting summary scores follows the same steps as for average scores.

The following table shows the summary PozQoL Score thresholds as well as the summary PozQoL Scores we calculated previously. The calculated scores fall within the highlighted ranges.

Score RangeLow QoLModerate QoLHigh QoLVery High QoLOur Calculated Scores
PozQoL (Overall QoL)≤ 3637 – 4546 – 53≥ 5448
Psychological domain≤ 1011 – 1314 – 16≥ 1716
Social domain≤ 67 – 910 – 12≥ 1312
Health Concerns domain≤ 67 – 910 – 12≥ 139
Functional domain≤ 910 – 1112 – 14≥ 1511

Therefore, we can say that the client’s PozQoL Scores indicate that they are experiencing:

  • High overall QoL
  • High quality of life in the psychological and social domains
  • Moderate quality of life in the health concerns and functional domains

Final thoughts on these example interpretations

You may have noticed that that the interpretations differ slightly between the summary and average scores for scores that were on the very edge of a threshold. This was the case here for the psychological and social domain scores.

This is not an error. It has to do with statistics, the way the thresholds were calculated, and the fact that summary scores are whole numbers while average scores are decimal numbers.

In reality, there is likely very little difference between the quality of life of a person at the very top of one threshold and someone at the very bottom of the threshold above it.

The purpose of these interpretations is not to categorise people’s QoL in absolute terms. It is to find out where your clients may have concerns or where they may need extra support.

In the case of this example client, both the average and the summary scores indicate that they are doing well overall, but that they may need some extra support in the health concerns and functional domains.

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Header image by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash