Purpose: To assess the impact of care at foster homes on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of children living with HIV (CLHIV), attending a referral ART Centre, and to compare their HRQOL with children living in their own homes. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 144 CLHIV between 5 and 18 years of age, attending a referral ART Centre in South India to assess their HRQOL using the standard PedsQL™ 4.0 questionnaire. Data were then analysed to compare the HRQOL of children living in foster homes to those children living in their own homes. The child report and the parent proxy-report on the child’s HRQOL were also compared to see for any differences in their perspectives. Results: 56.25% CLHIV were brought up in different foster homes. In the child’s self-report, the mean HRQOL was higher for children living in foster homes [physical score (76.54 ± 12.40), psychosocial score (71.41 ± 12.40) and total score (73.20 ± 11.13)] when compared to children living in their own homes [physical score (75.09 ± 14.76), psychosocial score (70.60 ± 13.48) and total score (72.17 ± 12.00)]. There was no statistically significant difference in the HRQOL between these two groups (p > 0.05). In the parent proxy-report also, there was no statistically significant difference in the HRQOL in all the three scores. The child self-report depicted a significantly higher HRQOL in all the domains compared to the parent proxy-report (p < 0.05). Conclusions: HRQOL of children living in foster homes is at par with the quality of life enjoyed by children living in their own homes. Foster care manages to provide a reasonable HRQOL in CLHIV, and has become an inseparable component of quality health care delivery for these children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health