The most common HIV neurological comorbidity, Distal Symmetrical Peripheral Neuropathy (DSPN), is characterized by severe symptoms and reduced quality of life. Exercise has consistently been mentioned as one of the non-pharmacological therapies for the rehabilitation of individuals with HIV, but little is known about an exercise program to recommend to people living with HIV (PLWHIV)-related DSPN. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of aerobic (AE) or progressive resisted exercise (PRE) on quality of life (QOL) in a person living with HIV-related DSPN.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 136 persons living with HIV-related Neuropathy, including 6 domains of QOL within WHOQOL-BREF, 45 in the AE (used ergometer), 44 in the PRE (used quadriceps bench), and 47 in the control group (CG). The outcome measures (QOL) data were analyzed using the inferential statistic of Friedman for within-group with post hoc analysis of Wilcoxon signed Test. A Kruskal–Wallis test was carried out for between-groups with post hoc analysis of Mann–Whitney to find where significant differences exist.
The results indicated significant differences within experimental groups in all six domains p < 0.05. Similarly, the result indicated significant differences within the CG in Physical, level of independence, and Spirituality/Religions domains (p = 0.002, p = 0.035, p = 0.006). However, the results indicated significant differences between experimental groups and CG.
These findings indicated that strength and endurance exercise of moderate intensity have a positive effect on QOL in PLWHIV-related DSPN.
Clinical trial No. http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/default.aspx (PACTR201707002173240).