Perceptions of quality of life among Ugandan patients living with HIV: A qualitative study

D. Mutabazi-Mwesigire, J. Seeley, F. Martin, A. Katamba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Ugandans have endured the HIV epidemic for three decades. Now, with the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and early diagnosis, those living with HIV can live longer and can enjoy the same life expectancy as the rest of the Ugandan population. This emerging trend necessitates the assessment of quality of life, alongside other patient outcomes, of those undergoing therapy, alongside other patient outcomes. While major strides have been made in developing measures of quality of life in the developed world, there remains a paucity of evidence from resource-limited settings. This challenge is further complicated by the contentious definition of quality of life, which is highly subjective and varies between individuals. In this paper, we aim to identify the determinants of quality of life for people living with HIV in a Ugandan context to contribute to the chronic care model for persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Methods: Twenty HIV-positive participants took part in in-depth interviews at an urban clinic, with follow-ups at three and six months. Ten patients were on ART and ten not on ART. All interviews were transcribed and translated for
analysis. Data were analysed manually using the framework approach to content analysis.

Results: Individuals reported on four aspects of quality of life: liveability of the environment, utility of life, life ability of a person and appreciation of life. Respondents described multiple expectations and expressed hope for
their future. However, many still suffered from stigma, fears of disclosure and poverty, which negatively affected their quality of life.

Conclusions: Individuals living with HIV receiving treatment or in care experienced an improved quality of life in this setting, although the situation for many remains precarious
Original languageEnglish
Article number343
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public
Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Quality of life
  • Resource-limited settings
  • Qualitative study


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of quality of life among Ugandan patients living with HIV: A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this