Health-related quality of life measures provide information on the contributors, components, and consequences of frailty in HIV: A systematic mapping review


Purpose: Frailty in HIV is extensively explored in epidemiological and clinical studies; it is infrequently assessed as an outcome in routine care. The focus on health-related quality of life (HRQL) measures in HIV presents a unique opportunity to understand frailty at a larger scale. The objective was to identify the extent to which generic and HIV-related HRQL measures capture information relevant to frailty.

Methods: A systematic mapping review using directed and summative content analyses was conducted. An online search in PubMed/Medline identified publications on frailty indices and generic and HIV-related HRQL measures. Directed content analysis involved identifying contributors, components, and consequences of frailty from the frailty indices based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework. Summative content analysis summarized the results numerically.

Results: Electronic and hand search identified 447 review publications for frailty indices; nine reviews that included a total of 135 unique frailty indices. The search for generic and HIV-related HRQL measures identified 2008 records; five reviews that identified 35 HRQL measures (HIV-specific: 17; generic: 18). Of the 135 frailty indices, 88 cover more than one frailty dimension and 47 cover only physical frailty. Contributors to frailty, like sensory symptoms and nutrition, are extensively covered. Components of frailty such as physical capacity, cognitive ability, and mood are also extensively covered. Consequences of frailty namely self-rated health, falls, hospitalization, and health services utilization are incomprehensively covered. HRQL measures are informative for contributing factors, components of frailty, and a consequence of frailty.

Conclusion: HRQL items and measures show a strong potential to operationalize multidimensional frailty and physical frailty. The study suggests that these measures, connected to evidence-based interventions, could be pivotal in directing resources toward vulnerable populations to mitigate the onset of frailty.


Inceer M, Mayo N




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-morbidities
    • Age related disorders


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