The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the consistency of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among people living with HIV (PLWH) by breaking down the variance of repeated HRQoL measures into trait, state, and method components and to test the stability of HRQoL over time. In addition, we wanted to examine whether HRQoL trait components are related to personality traits, while controlling for selected socio-medical variables.
Three assessments were performed with a six-month lag on each assessment. Each participant filled out a World Health Organization (WHO) Quality of Life-BREF to assess HRQoL and a NEO-FFI to measure Big Five personality traits. Overall, 82 participants out of 141 (58.2% of the initial sample) participated in all the assessments.
The HRQoL among PLWH represented a stable trait to a somewhat greater extent than a situational variability, although the proportions were domain and time variant. More specifically, psychological domain appeared to be the most consistent, whereas social domain appeared to be the most prone to situational influences. The trait component of HRQoL was positively related to being in a relationship, being employed, and being extraverted, and negatively related to neuroticism, which altogether explained 26% of the trait variance.
HRQoL among PLWH is rather distinct from personality and socio-medical data, which indicates its uniqueness in a clinical practise. Thus, there is a need for a more comprehensive assessment of HRQoL among this patient group to capture an additional source of variance in this important theoretical construct.