Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA explored the effects of mindfulness meditation training on selected biological markers of HIV-1 progression.
The study tested the efficacy of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction meditation program (MBSR), as compared to a 1-day control seminar, to assay CD4+ T lymphocyte counts in stressed HIV infected adults.
A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted with enrollment and follow-up occurring between November 2005 and December 2007. A diverse community sample of 48 HIV-1 infected adults was randomized to enter treatment in either an 8-week MBSR or a 1-day control stress reduction education seminar.
University of Miami researchers conclude that a 10-week, group-based, stress management program for people with HIV infection is associated with positive changes in mood, neuroendocrine functioning and immunologic status.
A review of a 10 week, group-based, cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention for people with HIV infection by psychologists from The University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, shows positive effects on mood, neuroendocrine (Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal [HPA], Hypothalamic Pituitary Gonadal [HPG] and Sympathetic Nervous System [SNS] hormones) and immune system status (lymphocyte subsets, anti-viral immune function).
Segerstrom, Taylor, Kemeny, Reed and Visscher studied 86 HIV gay, seropositive men to test the relationship between decline of immune function (helper T-cells CD4) and negative beliefs about the self. There did appear to be an association between attributing negative events to aspects of the self and a faster CD4 decline over 18 months, controlling for things such as depression and health behavior. But there was no significant difference in the onset of AIDS.
Citation: Segerstrom SC, Taylor SE, Kemeny ME, Reed GM, Visscher BR. Casual attributions predict rate of immune decline in HIV-seropositive gay men. Health Psychology. 1996; 15: pp. 485-493.