Effects of resistance training in HIV-infected patients: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials


The relative effects of resistance training (RT) upon muscle fitness and immune function among HIV-infected patients are uncertain. The purpose of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to determine the effects of RT upon muscle strength, muscle mass and CD4 cells count and to identify potential moderators of those outcomes in HIV-infected patients. Meta-analyses use random or fixed-effects model depending on the heterogeneity of effect sizes, complemented with Hedge’s g correction factor. Thirteen trials were meta-analysed. Overall, RT increased muscle strength (35.5%, P < 0.01) and CD4 cell count (26.1%, P = 0.003) versus controls (P < 0.03), but not muscle mass (P = 0.051). Meta-regression followed by subgroup moderator analysis showed that gains in muscle strength followed a dose-response pattern with largest increase detected among trials with longer (24 weeks; 49.3%) than shorter intervention (<12 weeks; 39%), higher (Physiotherapy Evidence-Based Database [PEDro] scale = 6; 38.3%) than lower (PEDro = 5; 28.1%) quality, and longer (12 months; 59.7%) than shorter time under highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (<6 months; 37.1%), (P < 0.01). RT appears to be efficacious to improve muscular strength (~35.5%) and CD4 cell count (~26.1%), but not muscle mass of HIV-infected patients. Effects upon strength were greater in studies with higher quality and among trials with longer RT and HAART.


Poton R, Polito M, Farinatti P




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population


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