Prednisone for the prevention of tuberculosis-associated IRIS (randomized controlled trial): Impact on the health-related quality of lifeMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listEdwin Wouters Cari Stek Alison Swartz Jozefien Buyze Charlotte Schutz Friedrich Thienemann Robert Wilkinson Graeme Meintjes Lutgarde Lynen Christiana Nöstlinger
Background: Tuberculosis-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) is an important complication in patients with HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa. The PredART-trial recently showed that prophylactic prednisone reduces the incidence of paradoxical TB-IRIS by 30% in a population at high risk. This paper reports the impact of the intervention on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a secondary endpoint of the trial, measured by an amended version of the PROQOL-HIV instrument-the instrument's validity and reliability is also assessed. Methods: A total of 240 adult participants (antiretroviral treatment (ART)-naïve, TB-HIV co-infected with CD4 count ≤100 cells/μL) were recruited and randomized (1:1) to (1) a prednisone arm or (2) a placebo arm. In this sub-study of the PredART-trial we evaluated (1) the performance of an HIV-specific HR-QoL instrument amended for TB-IRIS, i.e., the PROQOL-HIV/TB in patients with HIV-associated TB starting ART (reliability, internal and external construct validity and invariance across time) and (2) the impact of prednisone on self-reported HR-QoL in this population through mixed models. Results: The PROQOL-HIV/TB scale displayed acceptable internal reliability and good internal and external validity. This instrument, including the factor structure with the eight sub-dimensions, can thus be applied for measuring HR-QoL among HIV-TB patients at high risk for TB-IRIS. Prophylactic prednisone was statistically significantly associated only with the 'Physical Health and Symptoms'-subscale: a four-week course of prednisone resulted in an earlier improvement in the physical dimension of HR-QoL compared to placebo. Conclusion: We demonstrated that the PROQOL-HIV/TB scale adequately measures different aspects of self-reported HR-QoL in HIV-TB patients. Although more research is needed to understand how other domains related to HR-QoL can be improved, targeting patients at high risk for developing TB-IRIS with a four-week course of prednisone has a beneficial effect on the physical aspects of patient-reported quality of life.
Journal Frontiers in Psychology