Effect of food supplementation on health-related quality of life among HIV-infected adults attending Naivasha District Hospital

Fred Mike Alumasa


Measurement of quality of life in HIV/AIDS is gaining relevance as an outcome measure. In Kenya, there are no published studies that look directly at the effect of food supplementation on health related quality of life (HRQOL) of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). This randomized controlled study with 3 months follow up aimed at establishing the effect of food supplementation (Foundation plus; a mixture of maize and soya flour, sugar, palm oil and fortified with multiple micronutrients produced by Insta Foods Kenya Ltd) and nutrition counseling on the nutritional status and HRQOL measures of PLWHA. A block random sampling technique was used on a sample size of 226 subjects. Data was collected from Naivasha District Hospital using a questionnaire. Data entry and analysis were done using SPSS version 11.5. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics, paired t-test, student’s test, Mann-Whitney U-test and Chi square to show statistical differences after the intervention. At baseline, subjects had poor nutritional status as evidenced by BMI below the WHO cut-off for malnutrition. In addition, poor physical activity level and self-reported health status coupled with multiple signs and symptoms indicated poor HRQOL. After the intervention, both groups had significant increase in mean weight and BMI (P<0.01).However, no significant difference in nutritional status and HRQOL between the groups was achieved. The intervention with a food supplement and nutrition counseling had a positive impact on nutritional status and so did nutrition counseling alone. Consequently, the rationale for food supplementation of undernourished PLWHA needs to be reviewed as nutrition counseling alone was seen to have a similar impact in comparison to the food supplemented group.


Full Text: PDF