Results of a nine month home-based physical activity intervention for people living with HIV

Jason R. Jaggers, Joanna M. Sneed, R.L. Felipe Lobelo, Gregory A. Hand, Wesley D. Dudgeon, Vivek K. Prasad, Stephanie Burgess, Steven N. Blair


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.


Community intervention, Randomized clinical trial, HIV, Physical Activity, Exercise, Self-care

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