Opioid dependence and HIV infection are associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nx) provided in HIV care settings may improve HRQOL.
We surveyed 289 HIV-infected opioid-dependent persons treated with clinic-based bup/nx about HRQOL using the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) administered at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. We used normalized SF-12 scores which correspond to a mean HRQOL of 50 for the general U.S. population (SD 10, possible range 0–100). We compared mean normalized mental and physical composite and component scores in quarters 1, 2, 3, and 4 with baseline scores using GEE models. We assessed the effect of clinic-based bup/nx prescription on HRQOL composite scores using mixed effects regression with site as random effect and time as repeated effect.
Baseline normalized SF-12 scores were lower than the general U.S. population for all HRQOL domains. Average composite mental HRQOL improved from 38.3 (SE 12.5) to 43.4 (SE 13.2) (β 1.13 [95% CI 0.72, 1.54]) and composite physical HRQOL remained unchanged (β 0.21 [95% CI −0.16, 0.57]) over 12 months follow-up. Continued bup/nx treatment across all four quarters was associated with improvements in both physical (β 2.38 [95% CI 0.63, 4.12]) and mental (β 2.51 [95% CI 0.42, 4.60]) HRQOL after adjusting for other contributors to HRQOL.
Clinic-based bup/nx maintenance therapy is potentially effective in ameliorating some of the adverse effects of opioid dependence on HRQOL for HIV-infected populations.