Perceived Interrelations of Pain and Cigarette Smoking in a Sample of Adult Smokers Living With HIV/AIDS

Andrea H. Weinberger, Elizabeth K. Seng, Joseph W. Ditre, Melody Willoughby, Jonathan Shuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) have very high prevalences of both cigarette smoking and pain, yet little is known about the relationship between smoking and pain for PLWH. This study examined the factor structure, reliability, and validity of a measure of perceived interrelations of pain and smoking in a sample of PLWH. METHODS: Participants in this study were 108 current cigarette smoking PLWH (64.8% reporting current pain) in the Bronx, NY. Participants completed assessments of demographics, smoking behaviors, and pain. Interrelations of pain and smoking were measured using the 9-item Pain and Smoking Inventory (PSI). The dimensionality of the PSI was evaluated using Horn's Parallel Analysis and exploratory factor analysis. Internal consistency was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha, and validity analyses evaluated the relationship between the PSI and demographics, HIV clinical characteristics, smoking, and pain in the total sample. RESULTS: A single-factor structure was the best fit for the PSI. The internal consistency of the PSI total score was excellent in the total sample (α = 0.94) and among participants with pain (α = 0.93). The PSI total score was significantly higher for PLWH who smoke and had current pain versus no current pain. Among smokers with HIV and pain, higher PSI scores were associated with higher pain interference, pain severity, and certain neuropathic pain symptoms (ie, numbness and pain to touch). CONCLUSIONS: Among a sample of PLWH, the PSI appeared to be a reliable and valid instrument as a one-factor measure to assess perceived interrelations among pain and cigarette smoking. IMPLICATIONS: Even though PLWH have very high prevalences of both pain and cigarette smoking, little is known about the relationship between pain and smoking for PLWH. This study is the first to examine a measure of the perceived interrelations of pain and smoking in a sample of PLWH. The measure was reliable and valid, and higher scores, reflecting that higher perceived interrelations of pain and smoking, were associated with more intense pain and pain interference. Learning more about pain and smoking among PLWH will help to better target smoking interventions to this key subgroup of smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-496
Number of pages8
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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