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



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 NCT03840525 . Registered on 16 July 2018.

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