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HIV Peripheral Neuropathy and Foot Care Management: A Review of Assessment and Relevant Guidelines

Anastasi, Joyce K. PhD, DrNP; Capili, Bernadette PhD, NP-C; Chang, Michelle MS

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: December 2013 - Volume 113 - Issue 12 - p 34–40
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000438867.67777.69
Feature Articles

Overview: Despite the decline in the incidence of central nervous system disease associated with HIV, distal sensory peripheral (DSP) neuropathy continues to be prevalent in this population, causing debilitating symptoms and affecting quality of life. Patients typically present with numbness, tingling, burning pain, and loss of sensation in the toes and soles of their feet. Although this complication causes loss of protective function and puts patients at elevated risk for injury, infection, and falls, foot care for people with HIV is often overlooked. This article reviews what is known about DSP neuropathy in HIV and discusses relevant foot care guidelines, adopted from the literature on other conditions associated with neuropathic foot disorders.

This article reviews what is known about distal sensory peripheral neuropathy in HIV patients, and provides nurses with information on its assessment and management.

Joyce K. Anastasi is an Independence Foundation endowed professor and founding director of the Division of Special Studies in Symptom Management (DS3M) at the New York University College of Nursing in New York City, where Bernadette Capili is an assistant professor and associate director of the DS3M, and Michelle Chang is a research associate at the DS3M. Contact author: Joyce K. Anastasi, ja2188@nyu.edu. The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.