Physical activity, employment history, and use of resources in HIV-infected patients

T. Hooton, S. Fitts, P. Ullrich, M. Guthrie, K. Johnson, T. Lostutter, M. Kitahata, D. Cardenas

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We are evaluating HIV-infected persons to determine their level of physical functioning, self-reported quality of life, employment history and barriers to employment, and use of resources commonly used by other groups with disabilities. Subjects are being randomized to an exercise group, a vocational counselor group, or a control group, and they are being followed longitudinally. To date, we have enrolled 171 individuals, 92% male and 74% white, from a university-affiliated HIV clinic and private clinics in Seattle. At enrollment, subjects had a median CD4 cell count of 253/mm3 and a median HIV-1 Rt-JA of 6840 copies/ml, 74% were on an antiretroviral regimen and 30% were on a protease inhibitor. 50% of subjects claimed to have spent an average of 8 hours/week in physical recreational activities and 14 hrs/week in such activities requiring little physical activity. 57% reported no episodes of ≥20 minutes of aerobic exercise in the past month. 56% were not employed in the past month, 13% worked an average of 1-20 hours/week, and 31% >20 hours/week. 36% worked ≥20 hours/week for 3 of the last 6 months. Fatigue was common: daily - 26%; 4-6 days/week -14%; 1-3 days/week - 42%. Fatigue was moderate/severe in 53%. A change in libido was reported by 41%, difficulty sleeping in 63% (moderate/severe in 45%), depression in 56% (moderate/severe in 32%). 66% met the criteria for depression using the CES-D depression scale. Of 67 patients asked, 6% had used vocational counseling, 11% recreational therapy, 8% physiatry, 8% physical therapy, and 3% occupational therapy. We conclude that high proportions of subjects are physically inactive, unemployed, depressed, and fatigued but that few subjects had utilized clinical services commonly used for patients with other chronic disabling illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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