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

Author(s): Sara Jam | Amir Hossein Imani | Maryam Foroughi | SeyedAhmad SeyedAlinaghi | Hamid Emadi Koochak | Minoo Mohraz

Journal: Acta Medica Iranica
ISSN 0044-6025

Volume: 48;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Mindfulness-based stress reduction | HIV | antigens | CD4

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

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