Objectives: Determine effects of massage therapy alone and in combination with exercise or stress management-biofeedback treatment on enumerative immune measures, and quality of life in moderately immunocompromised human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) subjects. Design: Randomized prospective controlled trial with 42 subjects randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups or a control group receiving standard care and intervention over a 12-week period. Setting: Academic medical center. Subjects: Forty-two (42) subjects with HIV infection (40 males; 2 females; aged 27-50 years) met eligibility requirements of CD4+ lymphocyte cell count greater than 200 cells per microliter; no present or recent signs or symptoms of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and were not hospitalized. Interventions: A 45-minute overall body massage once per week; similar massage and supervised aerobic exercise 2 other days per week; similar massage and biofeedback stress management once per week; control receiving standard treatment. Outcome Measures: Changes in peripheral blood levels of CD4+ lymphocytes, CD8+ lymphocytes, CD4+/CD8+ lymphocyte ratio and natural killer cells; six dimension quality-of-life assessment. Results: No significant changes (p > 0.05) were found in any enumerative immune measure. Significant (p < 0.05) differences for quality-of-life assessment were in health care utilization and health perceptions, favoring massage and stress management compared to massage only and controls. Conclusions: Massage administered once per week to HIV-infected persons does not enhance immune measures. Massage combined with stress management favorably alters health perceptions and leads to less utilization of health care resources. This suggests that HIV-infected persons receiving massage and stress management would tend to not overutilize health care services, thus possibly reducing health care costs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine