A tai chi/qigong intervention for older adults living with HIV: a study protocol of an exploratory clinical trial

Author: Gladys E Ibañez1, Kristopher Fennie2, Linda Larkey3, Nan Hu4,5, Angel B Algarin6,7, Chelsea Valdivia4, Helen Lavretsky8
1 Department of Epidemiology, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St AHC5, Miami, FL, 33199, USA. gibanez@fiu.edu.
2 Division of Natural Sciences, New College of Florida, 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL, 34243, USA.
3 College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, 550 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ, 85004, USA.
4 Department of Biostatistics, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St AHC5, Miami, FL, 33199, USA.
5 Division of Public Health, Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84132, USA.
6 Department of Epidemiology, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St AHC5, Miami, FL, 33199, USA.
7 Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA.
8 Department of Psychiatry, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
Conference/Journal: Trials
Date published: 2020 Sep 22
Other: Volume ID: 21 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 804 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s13063-020-04728-x. , Word Count: 271

Almost half of people living with HIV (PLWH) in the USA are over 50 years of age; this is expected to increase to 70% by 2020. Yet, few interventions exist for older PLWH that address psychological and physical symptoms combined, both prevalent in this population. There is a need to find innovative and accessible interventions that can help older PLWH to manage their symptoms. Mind-body interventions, like tai chi/qigong (TCQ), improve both physical and psychological health. TCQ is a series of slow, low-impact meditative movements that integrates breathwork, meditation, and stances.

The present study is an exploratory clinical trial that will evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a 12-week, small group TCQ intervention (n = 24), a sham qigong control condition (n = 24), and a standard of care control condition (n = 24) for older people living with HIV/AIDS. It will also explore any preliminary associations between the TCQ intervention and symptom alleviation. Participants will be recruited from community-based health and social services organizations in Miami, FL, and randomized to one of the 3 conditions.

We will assess feasibility and acceptability through questionnaires and adherence to TCQ. We will assess preliminary associations with symptoms such as depression, anxiety, social support, chronic HIV-related fatigue, and clinical outcomes. These will be described through proportions, means, and changes over time through graphing techniques. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, at post-intervention, and at 3 months follow-up. These preliminary analyses also will provide information necessary to estimate effect size and power needed for a larger clinical trial.

Trial registration:
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03840525 . Registered on 16 July 2018.

Keywords: HIV; Intervention; Mind-body; Older adults; Qigong; Tai chi.

PMID: 32962749 DOI: 10.1186/s13063-020-04728-x