Pain Self-Management in HIV-Infected Individuals with Chronic Pain: A Qualitative Study

Academic Article


  • Objective: Chronic pain in individuals with HIV is a common, impairing condition. Behavioral interventions for chronic pain specifically tailored to this population have yet to be developed. We assert that understanding self-management strategies already used by persons living with these conditions is an essential first step, and is the objective of this investigation. Design: We conducted a thematic analysis of qualitative data from 25 in-depth interviews with individuals with HIV and chronic pain. Results: The primary pain self-management strategies articulated by participants were: physical activity; cognitive and spiritual strategies; spending time with family and friends and social support; avoidance of physical/social activity; medication-centric pain management; and substance use. Conclusions: Some of these strategies may be viewed as beneficial and overlap with known HIV self-management strategies (cognitive strategies), whereas others may have negative health consequences (substance use). Interventions that incorporate healthy self-management strategies may be particularly effective in improving both HIV and pain outcomes. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Published In

  • Pain Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Merlin JS; Walcott M; Kerns R; Bair MJ; Burgio KL; Turan JM
  • Start Page

  • 706
  • End Page

  • 714
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 4