Effectiveness of a Combined Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention to Reduce Substance Use and Improve HIV-Related Immune Functioning

Tyrel J. Starks, Simone J. Skeen, S. Scott Jones, Sitaji Gurung, Brett M. Millar, Christopher Ferraris, Ana Ventuneac, Jeffrey T. Parsons & Martha A. Sparks

Publication Date: 09/19/2021


This study evaluated the effectiveness of Project PLUS, a 6-session Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral intervention to reduce substance use and improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among PLWH. In a quasi-experimental design, 84 participants from a network of three comprehensive care clinics in New York City received the intervention immediately post-baseline (the Immediate condition) and 90 were assigned to a Waitlist control. Viral load and CD4 data were extracted from electronic medical records (EMR) for a No-Intervention comparison cohort (n = 120). Latent growth curve analyses did not show a consistent pattern of significant between-group differences post-intervention or across time in ART adherence or substance use severity between Immediate and Waitlist participants. Additionally, Immediate intervention participants did not differ significantly from the Waitlist or No-Treatment groups on viral load or CD4 post-intervention or across time. The potential to detect intervention effects may have been limited by the use of a quasi-experimental design, the high quality of standard care at these clinics, or inadequate intervention dose.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine) Identifier: NCT02390908; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02390908.


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