Treatment of Depression With Massage in HIV

2014-08-27 03:56:13 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of massage therapy on depression, quality of life and plasma cortisol levels in subjects with advanced HIV disease.


This is a study to assess the usefulness of massage therapy for treatment of depression and improvement in the quality of life in patients with HIV. This study will define the clinical and biologic response to massage therapy in patients with HIV and depression who are clinically stable and on a fixed medical regimen. Depression is a co-morbid condition in individuals with advanced HIV disease and has a negative impact on quality of life. Depression in HIV-infected patients also has been associated with a decrease in adherence to medications and progression of clinical disease. While pharmacologic therapy for depression have resulted in variable success in managing this problem, it is associated with an increase in the number of medications that these patients are required to take, potential for additional drug-drug interactions, and many adverse events. In patients with advanced stage HIV disease, palliative care is often a priority and identifying new treatment modalities that do not require additional medications while improve clinical symptoms and overall quality of life is of the utmost importance. Pilot studies with massage therapy have been performed in HIV-infected and uninfected individuals. These studies have shown a reduction in depression scores in HIV-uninfected subjects. In HIV-infected patients, massage therapy has been shown to improve quality of life measures and decrease plasma cortisol levels.

The specific aims of this proposal are 1) to determine the effect of massage therapy on depression in subjects with advanced HIV disease, 2) to investigate the effect of massage therapy on quality of life in subjects with advanced HIV disease, and 3) to investigate the effect of massage therapy on plasma cortisol levels in subjects with advanced HIV disease. This study will randomize advanced stage HIV-infected subjects with depression in a 1:1:1 manner to massage therapy, "sham massage" or no physical intervention. The massage and "sham massage" groups will be treated for one hour, twice per week, for 8 weeks. All enrolled subjects will have depression measured (Hamilton Depression Scale) at baseline, weeks 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8, and quality of life (SF-36), and pain assessments (Gracely Pain Scale) at baseline, weeks 4 and 8. In addition, 24-hour urine free cortisol, lymphocyte subsets and HIV RNA measurements will be assessed at baseline and weeks 4 and 8. This will be a rigorously controlled clinical trial using validated measures to assess the clinical (depression and quality of life), and biologic (cortisol levels) effect of massage therapy on subjects with advanced stage HIV disease and clinical depression.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome


Massage Therapy


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles
United States




National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:56:13-0400

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