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Response to comment on “Pain in people living with HIV/AIDS: a systematic review (Parker et al. 2014)”

Letter to the Editor

Response to comment on “Pain in people living with HIV/AIDS: a systematic review (Parker et al. 2014)”

Romy Parker§,1, Dan J Stein2 and Jennifer Jelsma1

§Corresponding author: Romy Parker, Department of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Anzio Road, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, South Africa. Tel: +27 21 406 6402, Fax: +27 21 448 8157. (romy.parker@uct.ac.za)

Received 15 April 2014; Accepted 23 April 2014; Published 27 May 2014

Copyright: © 2014 Parker R et al; licensee International AIDS Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Parker R et al. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2014, 17:19234
http://www.jiasociety.org/index.php/jias/article/view/19234 | http://dx.doi.org/10.7448/IAS.17.1.19234

 

Dear editors,

We thank the authors of the Letter to the Editors for their thoughtful comments on our systematic review [1]. They emphasize a number of reasons why pain in people living with HIV/AIDS has clinical and health importance. We certainly agree with this view, and indeed these sorts of concerns motivated us to undertake the review.

The authors refer to four papers not included in the review [25]. Three of these papers were identified in the initial search but were excluded as they appeared to meet one of the exclusion criteria by reporting on sub-groupings of HIV-positive patients only [2,4,5]. While this criterion was arguably overly conservative, it is notable that the prevalence rates reported in these three papers fall within the range of estimates provided by the included studies. The fourth paper was published in early 2012 [3] and was not picked up by the literature search that we ran in March 2012. This paper is a useful contribution to the literature, and again the prevalence of pain falls within the estimates made in our review.

We would like to reiterate the point made by our colleagues in their letter; it is time for the research on pain in HIV/AIDS to move beyond identifying and describing the problem of pain in people living with HIV/AIDS and on to developing and testing interventions which will improve pain assessment and management.

Authors’ affiliations

1Department of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; 2Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Competing interests

The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Authors' contributions

All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Acknowledgements and funding

RP was supported through a National Research Foundation Thuthuka Grant (76098), a University of Cape Town Carnegie Research Development Grant and a South African Society of Physiotherapy education grant.

References

  1. Parker R, Stein DJ, Jelsma J. Pain in people living with HIV/AIDS: a systematic review. J Int AIDS Soc. 2014;17:18719. PubMed Abstract | PubMed Central Full Text | Publisher Full Text
  2. Wakeham K, Harding R, Bamukama-Namakoola D, Levin J, Kissa J, Parkes-Ratanshi R, et al. Symptom burden in HIV-infected adults at time of HIV diagnosis in rural Uganda. J Palliat Med. 2010;13(4):375–80. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text
  3. Farrant L, Gwyther L, Dinat N, Mmoledi K, Hatta N, Harding R. The prevalence and burden of pain and other symptoms among South Africans attending highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) clinics. S Afr Med J. 2012;102:499–500. PubMed Abstract
  4. Harding R, Molloy T, Easterbrook P, Frame K, Higginson IJ. Is antiretroviral therapy associated with symptom prevalence and burden? Int J STD AIDS. 2006;17(6):400–5. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text
  5. Harding R, Lampe FC, Norwood S, Date HL, Clucas C, Fisher M, et al. Symptoms are highly prevalent among HIV outpatients and associated with poor adherence and unprotected sexual intercourse. Sex Transm Infect. 2010;86(7):520–4. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text


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