Nutrition education intervention for low-income human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults
Irene Hatsu, Adriana Campa, Paulette Johnson, Fatma Huffman, Barbara Thomlison, Marianna Baum
Nutritional status during human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is related to disease outcome and health status. While HIV disease continues to put infected individuals at nutritional risk, nutritional issues have shifted from undernutrition and weight loss to obesity and metabolic imbalances even though inadequacy in nutrient intake persists. Nutrition education targeted at improving dietary habits through improvements in nutrition knowledge, self-efficacy, and readiness to change are critical to reduce nutritional risks in HIV-infected patients. This pilot study, conducted between January 2012 and September 2012, evaluated the effect of nutrition education on nutrition knowledge and behavior, dietary intake, and nutritional status of HIV-infected adults. Forty-five individuals were randomized into intervention (30 participants) and control (15 participants) groups. They completed pretest, post-test, and 3 months follow-up assessments and surveys administered before and after the intervention program. Although there were no significant differences in some of the outcome measures between the groups, we observed a trend toward improved nutrition knowledge and self-efficacy scores in the intervention group compared to the control group. In addition, fewer individuals in the control group progressed in the stage of change continuum compared to the intervention group for all dietary habits assessed. This study serves as a platform for developing nutrition education tools to address the nutritional and health needs of this population.