Negative life events: risk to health-related quality of life in children and youth with HIV infection

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2007 Jan-Feb;18(1):3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2006.11.008.


Children and youth with perinatally acquired HIV infection are living longer because of improved drug therapies, but they may be at risk for poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes because of nondisease factors. Families affected by HIV disease are more likely to experience major negative life events (NLEs). The effects of NLEs, shown to impact HRQOL in children with other chronic illnesses, have not been evaluated in children with HIV infection. The primary objective of this study was to determine if NLEs occurring in the previous 12 months were associated with increased risk for poorer outcomes in three measures of HRQOL (health perception, behavior problems, and symptom distress) in a cohort of children and youth with HIV infection. The authors conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data determined in 1999 from 1,018 children and youth 5 to 21 years of age enrolled in a longitudinal follow-up study. Multivariate logistic regressions estimated the odds for worse HRQOL outcomes. Children and youth with one or more NLEs had significantly lower health perceptions, more behavior problems, and greater symptom distress than children with no reported NLEs. The occurrence of NLEs may present a significant nondisease risk for diminished HRQOL among children and youth challenged by HIV disease. Nursing efforts to support these younger patients and their families sustaining major family disruption caused by NLEs may improve overall health outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / nursing
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors