Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

16447 Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Heath-Related Quality of Life In Older Adults Living with HIV Disease: Preliminary Results From the Caring and Aging with Pride Study

Saturday, January 14, 2012: 8:00 AM
Latrobe (Grand Hyatt Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Charles A. Emlet, PhD, Professor, University of Washington, Tacoma, WA
Karen I. Fredriksen-Goldsen, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Hyun-Jun Kim, PhD, Research Associate, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background and Purpose: Advances in HIV treatment has extended the life expectancy of persons living with HIV disease. Data from the CDC (2011) indicate that the number of persons, age 50 and over living with HIV continues to increase. Between 2006 and 2008 the number of persons, 50 and over, living with HIV disease in the United States increased by more than 25%. With longer life expectancy becoming the norm, additional empirical evidence is needed on what contributes or detracts from quality of life. The purpose of this study is to explore factors that contribute or detract from health-related quality of life in a national sample of older adults living with HIV/AIDS.

Methods: This study utilized a subsample of subjects from the Caring and Aging with Pride study (CAPP). CAPP is a national survey of LGBT older adults, age 50 and over, recruited from eleven sites throughout the United States. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from participants in the CAPP study, utilizing data from 233 participants (age 50+) who self identified as being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. All data was analyzed using multiple regression models. A regression analysis was conducted to test the impacts of risk factors (HIV progression, victimization, loneliness, depression and limitations of activities) and protective factors (social support, self-efficacy and an available caregiver) on physical health-related quality of life, controlling for age, income, education and gender. A second analysis was conducted for mental health-related quality of life.

Results: The sample ranged in age from 50-86 (M= 62.84, SD = 7.31). The majority (98%) were male; 31% reported less than $20,000 annual household income; 62% had a four-year college or higher degree. The majority were non-Hispanic white (74%); 12% were Hispanic; 7% were African American. A bivariate correlational analyses indicated that each of the risk and protective factors were significantly associated with physical and mental health-related QOL. According to multiple regression analysis with physical health as a dependent variable, being limited in daily activities (b=-20.84; p<.001), depression (b=-9.22; p<.01) and receiving care (b=-9.17; p<.01) were significantly associated with lower physical health scores. While not significant, victimization (b=-0.38; p=0.08) and HIV disease progression (b=-4.19; p=0.08) were also associated with poorer scores on the physical health measure. The final model accounted for 52% of the variance in physical health-related quality of life. With mental health-related quality of life, limited activities (b=-11.85; p<.001), depression (b=-14.45; p<.001) and loneliness (b=-5.24; p<.01) were significantly associated with poorer mental health. Self-efficacy (b=4.86; p<.001) was found to be a significant protective factor. The final model accounted for 67% of the variance in mental health-related quality of life.

Implications: Findings suggest the importance of healthy internal mechanisms (mastery, mental health), as well as physical factors (limited activities and requiring care) as factors associated with both physical and mental health-related quality of life among older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Additional studies and analyses are needed to determine specific ways to improve mental health, improve self-efficacy and decrease loneliness in this population.