Impact of individual-level social capital on quality of life among AIDS patients in China.
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AbstractWith growing recognition of the social determinants of health, social capital is an increasingly important construct in international health. However, the application of social capital discourse in response to HIV infection remains preliminary. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of social capital on quality of life (QoL) among adult patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). A convenient sample of 283 patients receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) was investigated in Anhui province, China. QoL data were collected using the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Survey (MOS-HIV) questionnaire. Social capital was measured using a self-developed questionnaire. Logistic regression models were used to explore associations between social capital and QoL. The study sample had a mean physical health summary (PHS) score of 50.13 ± 9.90 and a mean mental health summary (MHS) score of 41.64 ± 11.68. Cronbach's α coefficients of the five multi-item scales of social capital ranged from 0.44 to 0.79. When other variables were controlled for, lower individual levels of reciprocity and trust were associated with a greater likelihood of having a poor PHS score (odds ratio [OR] =2.02) or PHS score (OR=6.90). Additionally, the factors of social support and social networks and ties were associated positively with MHS score (OR=2.30, OR=4.17, respectively). This is the first report to explore the effects of social capital on QoL of AIDS patients in China. The results indicate that social capital is a promising avenue for developing strategies to improve the QoL of AIDS patients in China, suggesting that the contribution of social capital should be fully exploited, especially with enhancement of QoL through social participation. Social capital development policy may be worthy of consideration.
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