Results of a nine month home-based physical activity intervention for people living with HIV
Background: The purpose of this investigation was to test the feasibility of a home-based moderate-intensity physical activity (MPA) program for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) currently taking antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Methods: 68 participants recruited for a 9-month home-based PA intervention aimed to reduce risk factors of cardiovascular disease for PLWHA taking ART. All participants received an educational weight loss workbook and a pedometer for self-monitoring of physical activity. The intervention group received elastic Therabands® for strength training in addition to telephone based behavioural coaching. Clinical assessments were conducted at baseline and each follow-up which also included psychometric questionnaires and PA levels via the SenseWear® armband accelerometer.
Results: Of the 57 completing the study, 29 of those were in the intervention group and 28 were in the standard care group. Results show that the home-based PA intervention was not successful in increasing the total amount of MPA for PLWHA. However there was a trend (p=0.08) of decreasing sedentary time. In a secondary analysis those who increased PA by >10% observed decreases in waist circumference and improved functioning at 18 weeks. None of the changes observed were significant after controlling for all potential confounders.Conclusions: A home-based exercise approach with telephone-based coaching may not be a feasible method for increasing MPA among PLWHA. Slight decreases in sedentary time indicate some positive changes in activity habits. A possible strategy to improve studies similar to this is to incorporate a group based social interaction each week similar to that of a support group.
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