Effectiveness of a group-based aerobic exercise intervention in HIV+ patients : a pilot study

Lindsey, Rachel Ann
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2012]
Background: Exercise is recommended for HIV+ patients to control their disease as well as HAART side effects. Unfortunately, only 25 to 28.2% of HIV+ individuals engage in moderate physical activity and drop-out rates range from 45 to 87% in HIV+ cohorts. Group exercise has been shown to improve compliance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a group-based aerobic exercise program in HIV+ individuals. Methods: A pretest-posttest design was used to evaluate the effects of a 12 wk groupbased aerobic exercise program on fitness level, lipid levels, insulin sensitivity, body composition, and quality of life in HIV+ individuals. Participants were 18 sedentary HIV+ males between 32 and 59 years of age (mean 45 ± 6.34) on HAART. Results: Eighteen participants were enrolled; nine completed the exercise program and six of the nine were considered compliant, attending >70% of the exercise sessions. Improvements (P=0.03) in triglyceride level and health transition scores (quality of life dimension) (P=0.02) were seen post intervention. Improvements in VO2max (P = 0.03) were revealed among the six compliant participants. Self-efficacy for exercise and group cohesion were measured pre and post intervention, and provided descriptive information. Self-efficacy scores were lower for those who withdrew (53.66± 3.49) compared to those who completed the exercise intervention (64.22±17). Participants who were compliant (52.33±6.10) demonstrated more cohesiveness than those who were not (71.34 ±9.4). Conclusion: Those who completed the program displayed lower triglyceride levels and felt better about their overall physical health and emotional condition at the conclusion of the exercise program. Participants who withdrew were less confident that they could overcome barriers to exercise than those who completed the study. Not surprisingly, compliant participants felt more united as a group. Within the limitations of this study, a 12 wk group-based aerobic exercise program resulted in improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness. Additionally, no negative effects on immune function in HAART treated HIV+ individuals were found further supporting group-based aerobic exercise programs are a viable adjunct treatment option.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
HIV, intervention, physical activity
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