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Clin J Pain. 2009 May;25(4):307-12. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31819294b7.

Pain in persons living with HIV and comorbid psychologic and substance use disorders.

Author information

  • 1Pediatric Pain Program, Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA. jtsao@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

There is a dearth of information on the experience of pain in persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and cooccurring psychologic and substance use problems. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of pain in 162 HIV-positive persons diagnosed with mood and/or anxiety disorders and substance use disorders.

METHODS:

Bodily pain scores in the current sample were compared with pain scores in the United States general population and HIV-positive persons who screened negative for psychologic and substance use problems. Bivariate analyses were used to identify significant correlates of pain scores in the current sample, which were then subjected to multiple regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Pain scores in the current sample were significantly lower (indicating more pain) than the general population and HIV-positive persons who screened negative for psychologic and substance use problems. Multivariate analysis indicated that the presence of mood disorder, older age, and lower CD4 cell counts (below 200) were associated with increased pain. Presence of mood disorder accounted for the largest amount of unique variance in pain scores.

DISCUSSION:

HIV-positive persons with diagnosed mood/anxiety and substance use disorders reported substantially higher levels of pain than the general population and HIV-positive persons without these comorbid conditions. The presence of mood disorder emerged as an important marker for pain in the current sample. Given that individuals living with HIV and comorbid psychologic and substance use disorders are at increased risk for pain, concerted efforts should be directed at identifying and treating pain in this population.

PMID:
19590479
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2745215
Free PMC Article

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