As part of a larger randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of an HIV/AIDS symptom management manual (n = 775), this study examined the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in HIV-infected individuals at 12 sites in the USA, Puerto Rico, and Africa. Neuropathy was reported by 44% of the sample; however, only 29.4% reported initiating self-care behaviors to address the neuropathy symptoms. Antiretroviral therapy was found to increase the frequency of neuropathy symptoms, with an increased mean intensity of 28%. A principal axis factor analysis with Promax rotation was used to assess the relationships in the frequency of use of the 18 self-care activities for neuropathy, revealing three distinct factors: (i) an interactive self-care factor; (ii) a complementary medicine factor; and (iii) a third factor consisting of the negative health items of smoking, alcohol, and street drugs. The study's results suggest that peripheral neuropathy is a common symptom and the presence of neuropathy is associated with self-care behaviors to ameliorate HIV symptoms. The implications for nursing practice include the assessment and evaluation of nursing interventions related to management strategies for neuropathy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Symptom management