Compliance to exercise in early symptomatic HIV infection: Possible mechanisms

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Arthur LaPerriere - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Michael H. Antoni - Committee Member


The present study was an investigation of compliance with aerobic exercise training in 33 early symptomatic IRV-positive men and women. At study entry, participants were randomized to either an exercise intervention group (n = 23) or an assessment-only control group (n = 10). The 12-week exercise intervention consisted of three 45-minute sessions of aerobic interval training per week on a stationary bicycle. Due to variability in attendance to exercise sessions, exercise subjects were classified compliant (n = 13) if they attended at least 50% of the scheduled exercise sessions, and non-compliant (n = 10) if they attended less than 50% of the sessions. Psychosocial, immune, and fitness assessments were conducted at baseline and 12 weeks.Results indicated that physician's rating of change in health was significantly associated with compliance with exercise when compliance was used as a continuous variable. Physician's rating of change in health was not associated with compliance when compliance was used as a discrete variable. Decisional balance and self-efficacy, measured at baseline, were not associated with compliance when compliance was used as a continuous or discrete variable. Analyses conducted at baseline revealed a significant difference between compliant and non-compliant exercise subjects in the positive reframing subscale of the COPE. The groups did not differ at baseline on any other variable tested including acceptance, active coping, and denial subscales of the COPE, fatigue and vigor subscales of the Profile of Mood States (POMS), social support measured by the Social Provisions Scale (SPS), and physician's rating of change in health. There were no significant changes associated with the intervention in any of the psychosocial variables. In order to examine the relationship between compliance with exercise and CD4 change that was previously reported for this sample (LaPerriere et al., 1997), tests of mediation were conducted. Results indicated that compliance was significantly associated with changes in both Cinemax and depressed mood measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and POMS depression scale. Furthermore, changes in POMS depression served to mediate the relationship between compliance and CD4 change.


Psychology, Clinical

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