Background: The quality of life (QoL) of tuberculosis (TB) patients may predict treatment outcomes. Little is known about the QoL of patients with TB and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-morbidity, especially in South African settings. We investigate the QoL of TB patients with and without HIV at the Witbank TB Hospital in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.
Methods: In a cross-sectional analytical study, 124 patients with confirmed TB, with or without HIV co-infection, were recruited from September 2018 to October 2018. Trained interviewers conducted face-to-face interviews with participants, helping them to complete a standardized short form-12 (SF-12) QoL questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS and SAS software. Differences between groups were quantified using t-test. Logistic regression analysis identified explanatory variables predicting mental (MCS) health and physical (PCS) health.
Results: For all sub-scales of the SF-12 instrument, Cronbach’s alpha > 0.8 demonstrating high internal consistency. Patients with TB/HIV co-morbidity had lower scores in all dimensions (p<0.05), indicating poor QoL compared to TB patients without HIV. In multivariate analysis, the family size was predictive of physical health QoL. TB patients who were staying in a household with more than four family members were 2.12 times more likely to have better QoL compared to TB patients living in households with fewer than four family members, OR= 2.33 (95% CI: 1.12 to 4.98); p<0.05).
Conclusions: Patients who are co-infected with TB and HIV, in this setting, have poorer QoL than patients who are only infected with TB. Our results support the development of strategies to improve QoL that consider the physical and mental wellbeing of TB/HIV co-infected patients.