Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
Vol. 31, No. 3, 2019, pp. 171-176
Bioline Code: mm19033
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2019, pp. 171-176
© Copyright 2019 - The College of Medicine and the Medical Association of Malawi
Common impairments and functional limitations of HIV sequelae that require physiotherapy rehabilitation in the medical wards at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi: A cross sectional study|
Banda, Gift Treighcy; Mwale, Grace; Chimwala, Michael; Malimusi, Linda & Chisati, Enock
The progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the use of antiretroviral
therapy (ART) have resulted in a range of complications, which affect different body systems and result in functional
limitations and disabling impairments.
To investigate HIV-related impairments and functional limitations that require physiotherapy rehabilitation in patients admitted to the
medical wards at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.
This was a descriptive quantitative cross-sectional study involving the participation of 32 female (59.3%) and 22 male (40.7%) adults
living with HIV and admitted to the medical wards at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. We collected data using a questionnaire that
consisted of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2 (WHODAS2.0) and some demographic questions.
Results were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
Participation in society was the most frequently reported functional complication; the least common limitation was getting along with
people (70.3%, n = 38 participants) and interaction with others (24%; n=13). Shortness of breath (55%; n=30), muscle weakness
(44.4%; n=24) and joint and muscle pain (37%; n=20) were the most commonly reported impairments. Participation restriction in the
society affected both males (77.3%) and females (70.7%). The least common limitation that required physiotherapy for both males and
females was getting along with people (26.6% and 25%, respectively). On average, male and female participants had a disability severity
score of 48.5±4.6 and 42.2±22.8, respectively.
Our data showed that there is a clear need for early intervention to halt or delay the progression of complications to avoid severe
disability; this is not only good for the patient but also for the socioeconomic state of the nation. Timely and full functional assessment,
as well as referral of people living with HIV/AIDS for rehabilitation, is an important step forwards.
HIV; disability; impairments; physiotherapy; functional limitations; functional complication
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