Classification and description of chronic pain among HIV positive patients in Uganda
Introduction: Chronic pain classification in HIV positive patients is essential for diagnosis and treatment. However, this is rarely done despite association with poor outcomes.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 345 consented patients at a specialized HIV care center in Uganda was conducted. Chronic pain was defined as pain of more than two weeks duration. Data was collected using a socio-demographic questionnaire, the IASP classification of chronic pain; the StEP; Mini Mental Status Examination, Patient Health Questionnaire, Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and the World Health Organization quality of life instrument brief version. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact, t-test and logistic regression analyses were carried out to determine factors associated with chronic pain.
Results: Description of pain aetiology was difficult. Chronic pain was reported in 21.5% of the participants. Non-neuropathic (92.0%) was more common than neuropathic pain (8.0%). Chronic pain was found to be associated with feeling ill [OR=6.57 (3.48 – 12.39)], and worse scores in the quality of life domain for physical health [OR=0.71 (0.60 – 0.83)].
Conclusion: People living with HIV/AIDS commonly have chronic pain that is associated with poor quality of life. More sensitive tools are needed to accurately describe chronic pain in resource limited settings.
Keywords: Chronic pain, classification, HIV/AIDS.