Patients' experiences of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia.

Journal of advanced nursing

PubMedID: 7745194

Engberg IB, Gröndahl GB, Thibom K. Patients' experiences of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia. J Adv Nurs. 1995;21(3):427-33.
The purpose of the study was to investigate retrospectively whether patients (n = 73) who had suffered another disease and/or experienced psychosocial stress at the time of the onset of herpes zoster had experienced a more severe clinical course of herpes zoster, and were more subject to the development of postherpetic neuralgia than other patients (n = 45) with herpes zoster. The interview questionnaire included questions about changes in the patients' daily lives due to neuralgia, and their current living circumstances. Significantly more of the patients who had had another disease and/or psychosocial stress at the time of the onset of herpes zoster reported severe pain during the acute phase of herpes zoster. They also reported pain to a greater extent at the time of the interview and mentioned that their lives had changed owing to postherpetic neuralgia. More of these patients reported that their habits and activities had been negatively affected and they also experienced their current situation as unsatisfactory. These results must, however, be interpreted with caution as the patients' recollection of other diseases and/or psychosocial stress and the patients' current mood due to postherpetic neuralgia at the time of the interview may have influenced the memory and the answers.