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Psychosomatics. 2012 Jul-Aug;53(4):380-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2012.05.002.

Health-related quality of life 'well-being' in HIV distal neuropathic pain is more strongly associated with depression severity than with pain intensity.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA 92117, USA.



Despite modern antiretroviral treatment, HIV-associated distal neuropathic pain (DNP) remains one of the most prevalent and debilitating complications of HIV disease. Neuropathic pain is often accompanied by depressed mood, and both pain and depression have been associated with decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL) well-being. The relative contribution of depression and pain to worse life quality has not been addressed, however, even though a better understanding might sharpen intervention strategies.


We used the Medical Outcomes Study HIV (MOS-HIV) Health Survey and the Beck depression inventory-II and linear regression models to investigate HRQOL well-being in HIV-infected patients with DNP (n = 397) participating in an observational cohort study at six U.S. sites (CNS HIV Antiretroviral Treatment Effects Research Study, CHARTER).


For this sample of patients with HIV DNP, severity of depressed mood was more highly correlated with HRQOL well-being than was pain intensity.


These results suggest that interventions to improve HRQOL well-being in individuals with HIV-associated DNP may need to address not only pain intensity but mood state as well.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

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