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HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ)

About the HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ)


HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ)


The HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ) is a self-administered questionnaire developed with the aim to describe the presence, severity and episodic nature of disability experienced by adults living with HIV.


The HDQ is comprised of 69 items across six domains: physical symptoms and impairments (20 items), cognitive symptoms and impairments (3 items), mental and emotional health symptoms and impairments (11 items), uncertainty (14 items), difficulty with day-to-day activities (9 items) and challenges to social inclusion (11 items). Each item consists of a statement about a health-related challenge and has both a five point ordinal response scale asking the respondent to rate the challenge on the day of administration (from 0 to 4) and a nominal response scale asking whether the challenge fluctuated (or changed) over the past week (‘Yes’ or ‘No’).  An additional item asks individuals to classify their health as having a ‘good day’ or ‘bad day’ living with HIV.  


Item Generation: The items in the HDQ were derived from the Episodic Disability Framework, a conceptual framework of disability derived from the perspectives of adults living with HIV in Canada (O’Brien et al, 2008; O'Brien et al, 2009).


Measurement Properties: The HDQ demonstrates sensibility, internal consistency reliability, construct validity and test-retest reliability when administered to adults living with HIV (see references below).


Please Review the Below Terms and Complete the Form to Request Access to the HDQ and Administration and Scoring Manual


McMaster University and University of Toronto are providing you a non-exclusive, royalty–free license to use the HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ) for research, academic, and non-commercial purposes only. Any other use requires written permission from the rights holder.  In addition to the foregoing, any time you use and share the HDQ you must provide attribution to the authors and the owners.  The following acknowledgement should be used:  “© 2017 ; Kelly O’Brien. Patty Solomon, Ahmed Bayoumi, McMaster University; University of Toronto.  All rights reserved.”


You are prohibited from modifying, adapting, translating or making derivative works of the HDQ.  If you are interested in translating the HDQ this will require permission, please contact the author Dr. Kelly O’Brien at


The HDQ is provided “as is” and without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied. McMaster University, University of Toronto and the HDQ disclaim responsibility for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of information contained herein.



Version Available


HIV Disability Questionnaire (69-item version)

English Version (Version 10.5; 2017)

Click here to access the HDQ request form.




HIV Disability Questionnaire


O’Brien KK, Solomon P, Bergin C, O’Dea S, Iku N, Stratford P, Bayoumi AM. Reliability and validity of a new HIV-specific questionnaire with adults living with HIV in Canada and Ireland: the HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ).  Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2015. 13:124.


O’Brien KK, Solomon P, Bayoumi AM. Measuring Disability Experienced by Adults Living with HIV: Assessing Construct Validity of the HIV Disability Questionnaire using Confirmatory Factor Analysis. BMJ Open. September 1, 2014. 2014;4:e005456  doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005456


O’Brien KK, Bayoumi AM, Stratford P, Solomon P. Which dimensions of disability severity does the HIV Disability Questionnaire (HDQ) measure?  An exploratory factor analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2015;37(13):1193-1201. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2014.949358. Epub 2014 Aug 13.


O’Brien KK, Bayoumi AM, Bereket T, Swinton M, Alexander R, King K, Solomon P. Sensibility Assessment of the HIV Disability Questionnaire. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2013 Apr;35(7):566-77. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2012.702848. Epub 2012 Jul 21.


O’Brien KK, Bereket T, Swinton M, Solomon P. Using qualitative methods to assess the measurement property of a new HIV disability questionnaire.   International Journal of Qualitative Methods.  March 2013. Volume 12(2013); 1-19.


O’Brien KK, Bayoumi AM, King K, Alexander, R, Solomon P. Community Engagement in Health Status Instrument Development: Experience with the HIV Disability Questionnaire. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action. Winter 2014: 8(4): 549-559


Episodic Disability Framework


 O’Brien K, Bayoumi AM, Strike C, Young N, Davis AM.  Exploring disability from the perspective of adults living with HIV/AIDS: Development of a conceptual framework. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2008; 6:76


O’Brien KK, Davis AM, Strike C, Young N, Bayoumi AM.  Putting episodic disability into context: Factors that influence disability experienced by adults living with HIV.  Journal of the International AIDS Society. November 2009, 12:30.  doi:10.1186/1758-2652-12-30.