To test the acceptability, validity, and internal consistency reliability of the McGill quality of life questionnaire (MQOL) for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
The validity of MQOL was tested by having HIV-seropositive outpatients complete the 16-item MQOL, a single-item scale (SIS) measuring overall quality of life (QOL), and a physical symptom questionnaire.
Factor analysis was used as a guide for construction of MQOL subscales. Validity was studied by determining the correlation between MQOL and SIS, and between MQOL physical measures, CD4 counts and the physical symptoms questionnaire. Multiple regression was employed to determine how best to combine MQOL subscales to predict SIS.
MQOL was acceptable to this patient population. Factor analysis suggests that MQOL can be represented by five measures: a single item measuring physical well-being and four subscales representing physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, existential well-being, and support. Multiple regression analyses suggest that the existential domain contributes greatly to QOL for people with advanced HIV disease (CD4 counts < 100×106/l).
MQOL is an acceptable and valid measure of QOL for people living with HIV/AIDS, with meaningful and reliable subscales as well as a summary score. The inclusion of a measure of existential well-being in MQOL may make it a more valid measure of QOL, especially for people with advanced disease, than QOL instruments which do not include this domain.