Background: Opioid dependence and HIV infection are associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nx) provided in HIV care settings may improve HRQOL.
Methods: We surveyed 289 HIV-infected opioid-dependent persons treated with clinic-based bup/nx about HRQOL using the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) administered at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. We used normalized SF-12 scores, which correspond to a mean HRQOL of 50 for the general US population (SD 10, possible range 0-100). We compared mean normalized mental and physical composite and component scores in quarters 1, 2, 3, and 4 with baseline scores using generalized estimating equation models. We assessed the effect of clinic-based bup/nx prescription on HRQOL composite scores using mixed effects regression with site as random effect and time as repeated effect.
Results: Baseline normalized SF-12 scores were lower than the general US population for all HRQOL domains. Average composite mental HRQOL improved from 38.3 (SE 12.5) to 43.4 (SE 13.2) [β 1.13 (95% CI: 0.72 to 1.54)] and composite physical HRQOL remained unchanged [β 0.21 (95% CI: -0.16 to 0.57)] over 12 months follow-up. Continued bup/nx treatment across all 4 quarters was associated with improvements in both physical [β 2.38 (95% CI: 0.63 to 4.12)] and mental [β 2.51 (95% CI: 0.42 to 4.60)] HRQOL after adjusting for other contributors to HRQOL.
Conclusions: Clinic-based bup/nx maintenance therapy is potentially effective in ameliorating some of the adverse effects of opioid dependence on HRQOL for HIV-infected populations.