Back to Journals » HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care » Volume 9

Physical therapy as non-pharmacological chronic pain management of adults living with HIV: self-reported pain scores and analgesic use

Authors Pullen S

Received 16 May 2017

Accepted for publication 24 July 2017

Published 18 September 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 177—182

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HIV.S141903

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya


Sara Pullen

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Background: HIV-related chronic pain has emerged as a major symptom burden among people living with HIV (PLHIV). Physical therapy (PT) has been shown to be effective as a non-pharmacological method of chronic pain management in the general population; however, there is a gap in research examining the role of PT for chronic pain among PLHIV.
Materials and methods: This study examined the effect of PT on self-reported pain scores and pain medication usage in PLHIV enrolled in a multidisciplinary HIV clinic. Data were collected via reviews of patient medical records within a certain timeframe. Data were gathered from patient charts for two points: initial PT encounter (Time 1) and PT discharge or visit ≤4 months after initial visit (Time 2).
Results: Subjects who received PT during this timeframe reported decreased pain (65.2%), elimination of pain (28.3%), no change in pain (15.2%), and increased pain (6.5%). Three-quarters of the subjects reported a minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in pain score, and more than half reported a decrease in pain score over the MCID. Subjects showed a trend of decreasing pain medication prescription and usage during the study period.
Conclusion: Results of the current study indicate that in this sample, PT intervention appears to be an effective, cost-effective, non-pharmacological method to decrease chronic pain in PLHIV.

Keywords: HIV, pain, physical therapy, opioids

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]