Effects of internet cognitive-behavioral therapy on depressive symptoms and surrogates of cardiovascular risk in human immunodeficiency virus: A pilot, randomized, controlled trial

Samir K. Gupta, James E. Slaven, Ziyue Liu, Brittanny M. Polanka, Matthew S. Freiberg, Jesse C. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Depression is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We hypothesized that reducing depressive symptoms would improve HIV-related cardiovascular risk. Methods. We conducted a single-center, randomized (1:1), controlled, parallel-group, assessor-blinded, pilot trial comparing Beating the Blues US (BtB)-an evidence-based, 8-session, internet cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression-with usual care (UC) in HIV-positive participants receiving virologically suppressive antiretroviral therapy and with Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 scores ≥10. The primary endpoint was change in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) at 12 weeks. Secondary endpoints were FMD change at 24 weeks and inflammation, coagulation, and metabolic biomarker changes at 12 and 24 weeks. Results. Fifty-four participants were randomized (27 in each arm). Mean reductions in PHQ-9 scores were significantly greater with BtB versus UC at 12 weeks (-5.60 vs -1.52; P = .007) and 24 weeks (-6.00 vs -1.38; P = .008); reductions in the Hopkins Symptom Checklist Depression Scale-20 scores were also significantly greater with BtB versus UC at 24 weeks (-0.72 vs -0.35; P = .029). Changes in FMD between arms were not significantly different at 12 or 24 weeks. Significantly larger reductions in soluble (s)CD14 and sCD163 with BtB versus UC were found at 12 and 24 weeks, respectively. Conclusions. Compared with UC, internet cognitive-behavioral therapy using BtB resulted in greater improvements in depressive symptoms and monocyte activation markers but did not improve FMD in this pilot trial. These data support performing larger studies to determine the potential salutatory effects of behavioral therapies for depression on HIV-related inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofaa280
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Depression
  • Endothelial function
  • HIV
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology

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