The experiences of persons living with HIV who participate in mind-body and energy therapies: a systematic review protocol of qualitative evidence


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Review question/objectiveThe purpose of this systematic review is to explore the experiences and perceptions of persons living with HIV who participate in mind-body and energy therapies. The review will focus on the use of mind-body medicine and energy therapies that include meditation, prayer, mental healing, Tai Chi, yoga, art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, Qigong, reiki, therapeutic touch, healing touch and electromagnetic therapy. These mind-body and energy therapies are selected categories because they do not involve options that might be contraindicated to an individual's current treatment regime. More specifically, the review questions are:Does the use of mind-body medicine and energy therapies influence psychological well-being?Does the use of mind-body medicine and energy therapies influence social well-being?Does the use of mind-body medicine and energy therapies influence physical well-being?BackgroundComplementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a popular adjunct to conventional medicine across global populations. Complementary generally refers to a non-mainstream approach together with conventional medicine whereas alternative refers to a non-mainstream approach in place of conventional medicine. Most people use non-mainstream approaches along with conventional treatments. The World Health Organization [WHO] defines CAM as distinct health-care practices that have not been assimilated into a country's mainstream health care system.1The USA's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), formerly National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), organizes CAM into five medical system categories: whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices, and energy therapies.2 Whole medical systems include homeopathy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Mind-body medicine includes meditation, prayer, mental healing, Tai Chi, yoga, art therapy, music therapy and dance therapy. Biologically based practices include dietary supplements, herbal supplements and a few scientifically unproven therapies. Manipulative and body-based practices include massage and spinal manipulation such as chiropractic and osteopathic. Energy therapies include Qigong, reiki, therapeutic touch, healing touch and electromagnetic therapy.The NCCAM, the Alternative Medicine's Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 and the Healthy People 2020 envision a society in which all people have the opportunity to live long, healthy lives. In most countries, life expectancy has increased, but unfortunately, the incidence of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes and depression continues to increase.2-4 Research findings indicate that the use of CAM is often greater among people living with a chronic or life threatening illness compared with the general population,5-7Until the development of highly active antiretroviral medications (ARVs) in 1996, a diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was considered to be a death sentence.8 The human immunodeficiency virus attacks the immune system and weakens a person's ability to combat infections and some types of cancer. Currently, there is no cure for HIV but because of lifesaving medications, the mortality rate has declined significantly. The disease is now considered a chronic illness and highly manageable.9,10 Effective treatment has resulted in approximately 35 million people worldwide still living with HIV at the end of 2012.11Because HIV is no longer a death sentence but a chronic illness, there is a need to evaluate the experiences and perceptions of people using CAM, considering the prevalence of CAM use within this population. In the United States and Canada, the rate of CAM use among HIV positive persons is approximately 50% to 70%, whereas in Africa, rates of CAM use range from 36% to 68%. Popular forms of CAM among persons living with HIV include herbal or nutritional supplements, mind and body practices, and spiritual or religious healing.12-14 Worldwide, only a small percentage of persons who have access to ARVs refuse to take them and utilize CAM exclusively to treat their HIV infection.15,16People living with HIV often report using CAM because they believe that these therapies will improve their overall health and well-being and provides them an opportunity to take some responsibility in managing their personal health, which includes medication side effects.12,17-21 However, the effect of CAM on an individual's physical health often cannot be measured physiologically, but may be felt or experienced.Understanding CAM use is essential so that health professionals will have the most accurate information about which integrative therapies may or may not be helpful for people living with HIV. As recommended by the Institute of Medicine report entitled, ‘Integrative Medicine and Patient Centered Care’, health professionals have a moral commitment to find innovative ways of obtaining evidence and expanding knowledge about diverse interpretations of health and healing.22 Research aimed at exploring patients’ experiences and perceptions of mind-body and energy therapies is imperative so asto offer comprehensive care and promote shared decision making regarding complementary therapeutic options.

    loading  Loading Related Articles