J Res Health Sci. 2016;16(1):17-21
BACKGROUND: Pulmonary complications, respiratory symptoms and depression are common occurrences which contribute to the morbidity and mortality seen in individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This study investigated the effect of aerobic exercise on the pulmonary functions, respiratory symptoms and psychological status of people living with HIV.
METHODS: This study was conducted in Lagos, Nigeria from October 2014 to May 2015. Forty eligible individuals with HIV aged 18 yr and above participated, of which 33 cooperated to the end. They were recruited from the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Intervention Initiative (APIN) Clinic, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria and were randomly assigned to either the study or the control group. The study group received aerobic exercise training three times a week for six weeks and counselling while the control group received only counselling. Pulmonary functions, respiratory symptoms and psychological status were evaluated at baseline and at six weeks. Inferential statistics of paired and independent t-test were used to analyse the data.
RESULTS: Comparison of mean changes in the pulmonary variables of the study group with those of the control group showed significant differences in all but in the respiratory rate (RR) - [Forced Expiratory Volume in one second: P=0.001, Forced Vital Capacity: P=0.001, Peak Expiratory Flow: P=0.001]. There were also significant differences between the mean changes in respiratory symptoms (P=0.001) and depressive symptoms (P=0.001) of study group and those of the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Aerobic exercise training significantly improved pulmonary functions as well as significantly reduced respiratory and depressive symptoms in people living with HIV.