Original Research

Motor function, muscle strength and health-related quality of life of children perinatally infected with HIV

Cassandra V. Rego, Joanne L. Potterton
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 78, No 1 | a1812 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v78i1.1812 | © 2022 Cassandra V. Rego, Joanne L. Potterton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 June 2022 | Published: 30 November 2022

About the author(s)

Cassandra V. Rego, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Joanne L. Potterton, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Gross motor delays are common in infants and preschool children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These delays persist in children of school-going age and may affect participation in classroom and playground activities; however, the extent of the problem is poorly understood in this age group.

Objectives: Our study aimed to determine the motor function, muscle strength and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children aged 5–10 years who were perinatally infected with HIV.

Methods: In our cross-sectional study, participants were recruited using convenience sampling from a Gauteng HIV clinic. Participants were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (MABC-2), standing broad jump test (SBJT), Paediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM (PedsQL) and a sociodemographic questionnaire.

Results: Thirty children participated in our study. The MABC-2 showed 60% of the children assessed were either at risk of developmental delay or were already delayed, with the domain of manual dexterity being most affected. The SBJT showed female participants had weaker muscle strength than males. The mean total score on the PedsQL was 81%, with the subscales ranging from very high quality of life scores to moderately high quality of life scores, with emotional functioning having one of the lower overall scores.

Conclusion: Children who have been perinatally infected with HIV are at significant risk of delayed motor function. Muscle strength is also an area of concern, as is emotional HRQoL. Further research and implementation of holistic rehabilitation programmes are needed.

Clinical implications: Children with HIV need to be prioritised for developmental screening throughout childhood. Health promotion and early intervention need to be at the forefront of our fight against this pandemic.


Keywords

human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); perinatal; gross motor function; muscle strength; health-related quality of life

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Crossref Citations

1. Health-Related Physical Fitness Evaluation in HIV-Diagnosed Children and Adolescents: A Scoping Review
João Antônio Chula de Castro, Tiago Rodrigues de Lima, Diego Augusto Santos Silva
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  vol: 21  issue: 5  first page: 541  year: 2024  
doi: 10.3390/ijerph21050541