The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program in Iranian HIV/AIDS Patients: A Pilot Study

Jam, Sara; Imani, Amir Hossein; Foroughi, Maryam; SeyedAlinaghi, SeyedAhmad; Koochak, Hamid Emadi; Mohraz, Minoo
April 2010
Acta Medica Iranica;2010, Vol. 48 Issue 2, p101
Academic Journal
Psychological or behavioral interventions that attenuate the effects of stress may be useful in promoting immunocompetence and delaying HIV disease progression and CD4 count level. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a behavioral intervention that has as its foundation the practice of insight oriented(or mindfulness) meditation. In this study, we examined the effects of MBSR upon psychological, physical status and CD4 count of HIV/AIDS infected patients registered at the Positive Club of Imam Khomeini Hospital in 2007. Using a pilot study, we evaluated the effectiveness of a psychological intervention (8-week) that was based on training in mindfulness at the Positive Club of Imam Khomeini Hospital in 2007. Eight 2-hour sessions weekly and a day-long retreat were planned for a group of 10 participants with HIV. We investigated the long-term effects of this approach on psychological and physical status of patients by SCL-90-R and MSCL questionnaires and CD4 count after MBSR and in 3, 6, 9 and 12-month follow-ups. We studied six HIV positive patients. The mean age was 35 ±7.7 yrs. There was no significant difference in MSCL scores after MBSR and in 3, 6, 9 and 12 months compared to those before MBSR (P>0.05). There was a significant difference in SCL-90-R score after MBSR compared with before (P=0.05). Nevertheless, in 3, 6,9 and 12 months no significant differences were seen in SCL-90-R scores relative to those before MBSR(P>0.05). The means of CD4 count, before and after MBSR, and in 3, 6, 9 and 12 months were 549± 173.6,640.2±189.4, 655.3±183.4, 638±167.4, 619.3±163.2, and 595.2±165.6, respectively. There was a significant difference in CD4 counts in comparison with those before MBSR (P<0.05). In our study, MBSR had positive effects on psychological status and CD4 count. However, more studies with large sample size are necessary.


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