Purpose: To summarize the impact of tuberculosis (TB) on quantitative measures on self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
Methods: We searched eight databases to retrieve all peer-reviewed publications reporting original HRQOL data for persons with TB. All retrieved abstracts were considered for full-text review if HRQOL was quantitatively assessed among subjects with TB. Full-text articles were reviewed by two independent reviewers using a standardized abstraction form to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, questionnaire administration, and mean HRQOL scores. Meta-analyses were performed for standardized mean differences in HRQOL scores, comparing subjects treated for active TB with subjects treated for latent TB infection (LTBI), or with healthy controls, at similar time points with respect to diagnosis and/or treatment.
Results: From over 15,000 abstracts retrieved, 76 full-text articles were reviewed, which represented 28 unique cohorts (6,028 subjects) reporting HRQOL among subjects with active TB; 42 % were women and mean age was 42 years. Data on key social and behavioral determinants were limited. Within individual studies and in meta-analyses, subjects with active TB disease consistently reported worse HRQOL than concurrently evaluated subjects treated for LTBI. However, meaningful improvements in HRQOL throughout active TB treatment were reported by longitudinal studies.
Conclusions: In a variety of studies, in different settings and using different instruments, subjects with active TB consistently reported poorer HRQOL than persons treated for LTBI. Future research on HRQOL and TB should better address social and behavioral health determinants which may also affect HRQOL.