Balance as an assessment of health-related quality of life in people living with HIV
Background: Balance and cognitive decline are impairments in people living with HIV (PLWH). These impairments predispose to fall-related injuries, affecting health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study assessed standing balance and cognition after a three-month fitness program and its relationship to HRQoL.
Methods: Fifty-four PLWH participating in a community-based fitness program participated in this study. Standing balance with eyes open and eyes closed was measured with a pressure mat. Cognition was assessed using the HIV dementia scale (HDS), while the Functional Assessment of HIV Infection (FAHI) was used as a measure of HRQoL. Paired t-tests compared balance values while linear regression explored the association between balance and HDS scores with HRQoL.
Results: Balance values with eyes open improved significantly (p=0.04). Linear regression showed a significant association between the three predictors and HRQoL (r = .50; p = .017).
Conclusions: Standing balance and mental status play a significant role in HRQoL in PLWH.