For immediate release: July 2, 2012
Contact: Chuck Weber - 262.473.3018
Study Assesses Pain and Quality of Life in Ugandan HIV Patients
GLENVIEW, Ill., July 2, 2012 -- Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 69 percent of HIV cases worldwide and 72 percent of AIDS deaths. A study published in The Journal of Pain showed that pain is highly prevalent among well functioning HIV patients in Africa, has a debilitating impact of quality of life, and there is a significant level of unmet need for pain relief.
Although it is well known that pain occurs throughout the disease experience, few studies have looked at the frequency and severity of pain in HIV patients in Africa. Most research on HIV-related pain has been conducted in economically developed nations and predominantly on male patients. Researchers from the African Palliative Care Association in Kampal, Uganda and Kings College London examined a three-day period prevalence of pain among ambulatory HIV patients in two Ugandan outpatient sites. They sought to assess the association of pain with antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the relationship of pain, function and quality of life.
Study participants were recruited at HIV clinics and were at least 18 years old with a confirmed HIV diagnosis and had sufficient cognitive and physical ability to participate in the study. Questionnaires were completed by the patients to elicit responses regarding pain and pain intensity, gender differences in pain, physical symptoms burden, functionality and overall quality of life. Three hundred two patients participated in the study.
Results showed that 47 percent of the patients reported pain seven days prior to completing the surveys. Of those with pain, 53 percent said it was mild, 20 described their pain as moderate, and 27 percent called it severe. Gender was not associated with pain intensity. However, pain intensity was significantly associated with reduced function, increasing number of symptoms and advanced HIV disease. The authors also found that pain was not associated with ART and there was a significant level of unmet need for pain relief.
About the American Pain Society
Based in Glenview, IL, the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and others. For more information on APS, visit www.ampainsoc.org.