This research study investigated the effects of a programme of therapeutic movement on depression and body self-image, on two samples of HIV positive females undergoing anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in Sub-Saharan Africa. The aims and objectives of this study are in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2012) and UNICEF (2013) mandates, which advocates the implementation of effective psycho-social and complimentary care programmes for diseased populations in Africa. Stage 1 of this study comprised a qualitative exploration into HIV-infected femalesâ€™ (n=60) attitudes towards their disease, treatment, overall health concerns, body shape and size concerns, and towards exercise in general. This stage comprised brief (informal face-to-face interviews, based on the WHO/Unfpa Aids inventory) in 3 sub-Saharan African countries (at provincial and district hospitals and NGO-VCT testing centres and primary care outpatient clinics. Stage 2 of the study comprised a quantitative experimental design, conducted on a sample of HIV-infected women in 3 selected HIV outpatient clinics in South Africa. The collated data sets from both stages (qualitative and quantitative) of the research were presented, analysed, described and interpreted. Stage 1 data results depicted a) HIV sufferersâ€™ concerns with body shape abnormalities, and a corresponding willingness to engage in therapeutic programmes of this nature, while Stage 2, utilising Beckâ€™s depression Inventory, and Roweâ€™s Body Self-image questionnaire, similarly highlighted participantsâ€™ concerns with body self-image and willingness to participate in the therapeutic movement programme.
Keywords: Antiretroviral treatment (ART), Body Self-image, Complimentary care, Depression, HIV/AIDS, functional cognition, lipodystrophy, movement therapy, stigma, Sub-Saharan Africa