Author(s): Martinez SM, Kemper CA, Diamond C, Wagner G California Col, Martinez SM, Kemper CA, Diamond C, Wagner G California Col
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Abstract HIV infection and its treatment can have significant effects on physical appearance and functioning, which can affect self-perceived body image. We assessed the psychometric properties of a newly developed Body Image Scale (BIS), a subjective measure of body image perception in persons with HIV infection, as well as the scale's relationship to disease progression, symptoms, and demographic factors. HIV-positive men (n = 129) and women (n = 21) attending two outpatient HIV clinics were administered the BIS survey along with a one-page questionnaire. A subset (n = 38) were administered the survey on two occasions to assess test-retest reliability. Nearly half of the sample (46\%) had AIDS and 25\% had a CD4 count below 200 cells/mm(3) within the prior 3 months. The BIS had unidimensional factor structure, good internal consistency reliability (Chronbach alpha = 0.91), and good test-retest reliability (r = 0.71, p < 0.001) after controlling for the length of interval between assessments. Patients' current perception of their body image was worse then what they perceived it to be prior to HIV infection (p < 0.001), but better than their perception of how others view people with HIV (p < 0.001). The presence of symptomatic disease (p < 0.001) and a diagnosis of AIDS (p = 0.02) were associated with a less favorable body image, although laboratory markers of disease progression (CD4 count and plasma HIV viral load) were not. We conclude that the BIS has good construct validity and is a highly reproducible measure of self-perceptive of body image in HIV-infected patients. Further exploration of its relationship to psychological well being, medication adherence and other aspects of medical care is indicated.
This article was published in AIDS Patient Care STDS
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research