Body Image and Self-Care in HIV-Infected MSM (BUILD)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01817621
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified April 2015 by Aaron Blashill, Massachusetts General Hospital.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : March 25, 2013
Last Update Posted : April 7, 2015
The Fenway Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Aaron Blashill, Massachusetts General Hospital

Brief Summary:

The purpose of this study is to develop and test counseling strategies for men who have sex with men (MSM) who are living with HIV and are experiencing body dissatisfaction.

Two phases will be conducted throughout the course of the study.

Phase 1: Develop an intervention for HIV-infected MSM that addresses body dissatisfaction and self-care. (NOTE: currently, only Phase 1 will be recruiting participants, Phase 2 will not be active for several months)

Because of the prospective syndemic relationship between body dissatisfaction and depression, the investigator will integrate the most efficacious interventions for body dissatisfaction, depression, adherence, and sexual risk reduction, and tailor them to HIV-infected MSM. The investigator will then conduct an iterative process of pilots and exit interviews about feasibility, acceptability, and the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention until the intervention is maximized. Up to 9 participants will be involved in Phase 1.

Phase 2: Conduct a two-arm randomized control trial comparing the newly developed intervention to a treatment-as-usual condition.

As a first step in addressing the efficacy of the newly developed intervention, the investigator plans on randomizing up to 60 participants into either the newly-developed intervention or a treatment-as-usual condition. Participants will be assessed at baseline, 3 months (acute outcome), and 6 months postrandomization. The primary outcome variable is body image disturbance. Depression, HIV sexual transmission risk behaviors, and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) adherence will serve as secondary outcomes.

Study hypotheses for the two phases include:

  1. The investigator will be able to develop and implement a feasible intervention that integrates addressing and relieving body dissatisfaction with increasing health related behavior change in MSM with HIV. Adequate recruitment (at least 80% of goal) and retention (at least 80% to follow up) in the trial will be an indicator of success for this aim.
  2. Those who receive the intervention will show improvements in health behavior outcomes (medication adherence, HIV transmission risk behavior) and will show reduced body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Body Image Disturbance Medication Adherence Behavioral: Experimental Intervention Behavioral: TAU Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Among men who have sex with men (MSM), the largest population living with HIV in the U.S., poor self-care behaviors occur within the context of intertwined psychosocial problems, called syndemics. Important affected health behaviors include sexual transmission risk and adherence to antiretroviral therapy. In major cities, one in five MSM are living with HIV/AIDS, making these domestic MSM rates comparable to many endemic settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Because of antiretroviral therapy, HIV-infected individuals are living with the virus longer and the population of HIV-infected MSM continues to grow.

Study after study concludes that psychosocial problems/intertwined syndemics such as depression, substance abuse, and childhood sexual abuse significantly contribute to poor self-care behaviors such as sexual risk behaviors among MSM. Despite this, one reason for the modest effects of behavioral interventions for HIV is that they generally do not address the unique and varied psychosocial context of living with HIV for various risk groups. One example of a highly prevalent psychosocial problem among HIV-infected MSM is dissatisfaction with one's appearance. Body dissatisfaction is frequently syndemic to depression in HIV-infected MSM and is related to both sexual transmission risk and HAART non-adherence. Recent evidence indicates that MSM with high body dissatisfaction are 60% less likely to use condoms during anal intercourse compared to MSM with low body dissatisfaction.

The goal is to study multiple health behaviors in the context of psychosocial problems among HIV-infected and uninfected MSM. This includes designing and testing interventions aimed at reducing health problems (e.g., sexual risk, medication adherence, self-care) and co-occurring mental health disorders/syndemics. In this context, the current research plan, focusing on body dissatisfaction, depression, sexual risk reduction and HAART adherence provides one example of applying this goal to a discrete syndemic-oriented intervention development research project. This has relevance for both behavioral interventions for adherence and HIV risk behavior in MSM, which may be moderated by syndemics, but also has important application for the eventual roll-out of emerging biomedical prevention interventions. For example, HIV chemoprophylaxis (pre-exposure prophylaxis; PrEP) has recently been shown to reduce HIV transmission risk in high risk MSM. If this or other biomedical interventions are adequately disseminated to the highest risk MSM, the field will likely need plans for addressing mental health and, potentially, substance use, in the context of prescribing biomedical agents.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 69 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Body Image and Self-Care in HIV-Infected MSM
Study Start Date : February 2013
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: HIV/AIDS

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Experimental Intervention Behavioral: Experimental Intervention
The experimental intervention arm will include the same measures as the TAU comparison study arm. In addition, participants will attend several sessions addressing body dissatisfaction, including psychoeducation on the antecedents and consequences of body dissatisfaction, the common comorbidity of depressed mood, and how these factors can affect HIV self-care behaviors.
Other Name: Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Body Image and Self-Care (CBT-BISC)

Active Comparator: TAU Condition Behavioral: TAU
Participants assigned to the TAU condition will receive appropriate services and referrals as needed, as would be typical of patients at Fenway Health or MGH, and will attend bi-weekly appointments with a study research assistant (RA) to complete study questionnaires and assess pocketed adherence, including HAART doses that participants may have taken outside of Wisepill.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Body Image Disturbance [ Time Frame: Baseline Assessment; Active Treatment Sessions; Post Treatment Assessment (Active treatment sessions will take place on a weekly basis starting 2 weeks after baseline and will continue for an average of 3 to 4 months.) ]
    Measures of body image disturbance and impairment. Body Dysmorphic Disorder Modification of the Y-BOCS (BDD-YBOCS) a 12-item semistructured clinician-rated instrument designed to rate severity of body image disturbance and impairment will be used as the primary outcome measure.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in HIV Self-Care Behavior and Depression [ Time Frame: Baseline Assessment; Active Treatment Sessions; Post Treatment Assessment (Active treatment sessions will take place on a weekly basis starting 2 weeks after baseline and will continue for an average of 3 to 4 months.) ]
    HIV medication adherence and sexual risk behaviors. HIV medication adherence will be recorded by use of Wisepill. The Wisepill portable medication dispenser sends an electronic medication event record to a central management system (Wisepill Web Server) whenever medication is taken. Medication adherence will be used as a secondary outcome measure. The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) measure will be given at each assessment to determine change in Derpession. The MADRS is a clinician administered semi-structured interview used to measure the severity of depressive episodes in patients with mood disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV-seropositive
  • Prescribed ART for at least the last two months
  • Reports having sex with men in the past 12 months
  • Reports current body dissatisfaction (a score of 2.48 or more on the Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire)
  • Age 18 and older
  • Capable of completing and fully understanding the informed consent process and the study procedures

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Over age 65
  • Significant mental health diagnosis requiring immediate treatment (e.g., unstable bipolar disorder; any psychotic disorder)
  • Has received cognitive behavioral therapy for body dissatisfaction within the past 12 months

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01817621

Contact: Aaron J Blashill, PhD 617-643-2148

United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital Not yet recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114-2919
Contact: Aaron J. Blashill, PhD    617-643-2148   
Contact: Peter P Ehlinger, BA    617-643-1168   
Principal Investigator: Aaron J. Blashill, PhD         
The Fenway Institute Recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
Contact: Aaron J. Blashill, PhD    617-927-6465   
Contact: Jonathan Jampel, BA    617-927-6465   
Principal Investigator: Aaron J. Blashill, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
The Fenway Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Aaron J Blashill, PhD Massachusetts General Hospital, Fenway Health

Responsible Party: Aaron Blashill, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01817621     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 399055-1
1K23MH096647-01A1 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: March 25, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 7, 2015
Last Verified: April 2015

Keywords provided by Aaron Blashill, Massachusetts General Hospital:
Body Image Disturbance
Medication Adherence
Sexual Risk Behavior