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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2014 Apr;28(4):176-82. doi: 10.1089/apc.2014.0006. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Qualitative investigation of a Brief Chronic Pain Screening tool in HIV-infected patients.

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1 Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham , Birmingham, Alabama.


Chronic pain in HIV-infected patients is prevalent but understudied. A limitation of HIV/chronic pain research to date is the lack of a widely used chronic pain screening tool. A Brief Chronic Pain Screening tool (BCPS) has been described, but has not yet been tested in a clinical population. This study sought to evaluate how the BCPS is experienced by HIV-infected individuals, and adapt its questions if necessary. We conducted cognitive interviews using cognitive inquiry in participants from the UAB 1917 HIV Clinic Cohort. Data were analyzed using a process of inductive, iterative coding by three investigators.


Of 30 participants, most were male, African American, and less than 50 years old. Participants reported that the questions were understandable; however, feedback suggested concerns regarding lack of specificity in regard to the intensity and consistency of pain. An introductory statement aimed at improving clarity resulted in more divergent responses. This research team concluded that the version of the BCPS used in the first 30 interviews was optimum. Its inclusive language allows the respondent to decide what pain merits reporting. This study is the first investigation of the BCPS in a clinical population, and should lead to further quantitative validation studies of this tool.

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