Quality of Pain in Herpes Zoster Patients

Zoran Lončar, Ana Havelka Meštrović, Morana Bilić, Iva Takšić


Pain typically accompanies acute herpes zoster and persists well beyond rash healing. Different types of pain are reported by patients with herpes zoster. Current studies show that these types of pain vary with respect to their presence, location, duration, intensity and quality, hence pain needs to be analyzed more thoroughly. The aim of the study was to assess different components of pain in patients with herpes zoster. The study subjects were 46 patients diagnosed with herpes zoster and selected out of 493 patients treated at the Pain Therapy Clinic, the outpatient facility of Zagreb Clinic for Traumatology, in 2010. Measures used to assess pain and daily activities were the following: SF McGill Pain Questionnaire, Visual Analogue Scale, Self-Assessment of Life Satisfaction, Health Satisfaction and Enjoyment in Life. Analgesic treatment together with demographic and clinical characteristics of patients were also taken into account. The results have shown that the patients report about spontaneous pain mostly in terms of the following qualities of high level pain intensity: throbbing, aching, hot-burning and sharp. The results also demonstrate that herpes zoster pain significantly affects the patients' everyday living quality and their emotional health. Comprehensive assessment of pain is necessary for clinical research about the epidemiology, natural history, pathophysiologic mechanisms, treatment, and prevention of pain in herpes zoster.


herpes zoster, pain intensity, quality of pain, psychosocial aspects, incidence of herpes zoster

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