Clinical Trials


Randomized Controlled Trial of Stress Management Training in HIV (SWISSIT)

This study has been completed
University of Zurich

Swiss National Science Foundation

Information provided by (Responsible Party)
University of Zurich Identifier

First received: February 15, 2007
Last updated: February 15, 2007
Last Verified: February 2007
History of Changes


The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has dramatically changed the consequences of an HIV infection, which is now viewed as a chronic disease. As in other chronic diseases, emotional distress and depressive symptoms are highly prevalent in HIV-infected patients. Psychological factors such as these have been associated with lower quality of life, lower adherence to therapy and also with a higher risk for mortality and disease progression. Psychosocial interventions, such as group-based cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) training, have been shown to reduce distress and psychological symptoms in HIV-infected patients. These psychosocial effects are paralleled by changes in physiological parameters, such as cortisol, DHEA-S, testosterones, catecholamines, and naïve T-cell counts. While these results are congruent with recent evidence of the interaction between psychological, neuroendocrine and immunological parameters in HIV-infected patients, it needs to be shown whether the reported effects hold true in the HAART era. Most importantly, it also needs to be ascertained whether these interventions have an impact on immunological and virological HIV parameters as well as on mortality and morbidity in HIV patients. We propose a randomized controlled one-year prospective evaluation of a group-based CBSM training in 80 HIV-infected patients. Participating patients will be recruited at cooperating centers of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study and randomly assigned to CBSM training or waiting control group condition. At baseline, post-training and two follow-up (6 and 12 months) assessments, effects of the CBSM on psychological, physiological and clinical out-come variables in HIV-infected patients under HAART will be evaluated. Additionally, the effects of CBSM on the neuroendocrine and autonomic stress reactivity in HIV-infected patients will be assessed, thus evaluating a possible direct pathway between emotional distress and physiological HIV-relevant parameters. In conclusion, the planned research project evaluates the effectiveness of a standardized psychosocial intervention as a possible component of a comprehensive disease management in HIV-infected patients under HAART.

Condition Intervention Phase
HIV Infections

Behavioral : Cognitive behavioral stress management training
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized Controlled Trial of Stress Management Training in Individuals With HIV Infection

Further study details as provided by University of Zurich:

Primary Outcome Measures

  • CD4 cell count
  • HIV viral load
Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • QUality of life

Enrollment: 100
Study Start Date: December 2003
Study Completion Date: December 2005



Ages Eligible for Study: 18 Years to 65 Years  
Sexes Eligible for Study: All  
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No  


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adults between 18 and 65 years of age
  • Sufficient German-speaking abilities to participate in group therapy
  • cARTwithin the previous three months,
  • CD4 lymphocyte count above 100 cells/mL

Exclusion Criteria:
  • Active opportunistic infection at baseline
  • Formal psychotherapy within the previous three months
  • Intravenous drug users
  • Diagnosable current major psychiatric disorder (bipolar affective disorder, psychotic
disorders, major depression with melancholia) and diagnosis of antisocial and borderline personality disorders at baseline

contacts and locations

Contacts and Locations

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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00436085


University Hospital Zurich
Zuerich, Switzerland, 8006

Sponsors and Collaborators

University of Zurich
Swiss National Science Foundation


Principal Investigator: Jens Gaab, PhD Clinical Psychology and PSychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Zürich
Principal Investigator: Rainer Weber, MD University Hospital, Zürich
Principal Investigator: Ulrike Ehlert, PhD Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich
More Information

More Information

Responsible Party: University of Zurich Identifier: NCT00436085   History of Changes  
Other Study ID Numbers: 3346C0-100907  
Study First Received: February 15, 2007  
Last Updated: February 15, 2007  

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome processed this data on April 08, 2020
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