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A qualitative study of the experience and impact of neuropathic pain in people living with HIV

Scott, W; del Solar, MGCM; Kemp, H; McCracken, LM; Williams, ACDC; Rice, ASC; (2020) A qualitative study of the experience and impact of neuropathic pain in people living with HIV. Pain , 161 (5) pp. 970-978. 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001783. Green open access

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Abstract

Painful distal symmetrical polyneuropathy is common in HIV and is associated with reduced quality of life. Research has not explored the experience of neuropathic pain in people with HIV from a person-centred perspective. Therefore, a qualitative interview study was conducted to more deeply understand the experience and impact of neuropathic pain in this population. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 26 people with HIV and peripheral neuropathic pain symptoms. Interviews explored the impact of pain and participants’ pain management strategies. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes and 11 subthemes were identified. Theme 1 reflects the complex characterisation of neuropathic pain, including the perceived unusual nature of this pain and diagnostic uncertainty. Theme 2 centred on the interconnected impacts of pain on mood and functioning and includes how pain disrupts relationships and threatens social inclusion. Theme 3 reflects the struggle for pain relief, including participants’ attempts to “exhaust all options” and limited success in finding lasting relief. The final theme describes how pain management is complicated by living with HIV; this theme includes the influence of HIV stigma on pain communication and pain as an unwanted reminder of HIV. These data support the relevance of investigating and targeting psychosocial factors to manage neuropathic pain in HIV

Type: Article
Title: A qualitative study of the experience and impact of neuropathic pain in people living with HIV
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001783
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001783
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: HIV, Neuropathic pain, Psychosocial, Qualitative
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100556
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