Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities (CLaRO)

PI: Daniel E. Jimenez, PhD
Primary Mentor: Deborah J. Weiss, PhD
Title: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Study Title: Preventing Cardiometabolic Disease in HIV-Infected Latino Men through a Culturally-Tailored Health Promotion Intervention

Abstract of the Proposed Pilot Study: Midlife and older Latinos living with HIV have been disproportionately affected by the epidemic and experience compounded health disparities that have deepened over time. These health disparities are largely related to lifestyle and are either preventable or amenable to early detection or intervention.
Despite existing resources to deliver an intervention to reduce this compounded health disparity, there is little information on the effects of health promotion interventions on indices of cardiometabolic risk in midlife and older Latinos living with HIV. The Happy Older Latinos are Active (HOLA) intervention is an innovative health promotion program that is uniquely tailored to meet the diverse needs and circumstances of midlife and older Latinos living with HIV. HOLA addresses multiple concerns that are prevalent in this community (cardiometabolic risk, psychological distress) in a nonstigmatizing and culturally acceptable manner. HOLA is a community health worker (CHW)-led, multicomponent, health promotion intervention consisting of: (1) a social and physical activation session; (2) a moderately intense group walk led by a CHW for 45 minutes, 3x/week for 16 weeks; (3) pleasant events scheduling. This study will address the following specific aims: to evaluate the feasibility of recruitment, assessment procedures, retention, acceptability, and implementation of HOLA in a sample of midlife and older Latinos living with HIV (Aim 1); to identify modifications needed in the design of a larger, confirmatory randomized controlled trial (Aim 2); to explore changes in cardiometabolic risk factors (waist circumference, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and glucose), psychosocial functioning (depression and anxiety severity, social support), and health-related quality of life in a sample of midlife and older Latinos living with HIV enrolled in the HOLA health promotion intervention (Aim 3). The proposed study will recruit and enroll 18 community dwelling Latinos living with HIV aged 50+. Participants will be assessed at three time points (baseline, post intervention, and 3 months post intervention) on measures of cardiometabolic risk factors, psychosocial functioning, and health-related quality of life.This pilot study is not powered to test a hypothesis. Rather, we will evaluate the feasibility of recruitment, assessment procedures, retention, acceptability, and implementation of HOLA in a sample of midlife and older Latinos living with HIV. In addition, a career development and mentoring plan has been designed, comprised of expert mentorship by Dr. Deborah Jones Weiss and scholarly didactics and seminars that will facilitate the proposed research plan and develop the requisite expertise to apply for and be awarded R-type grants. The proposed project is consistent with CLaRO’s focus on tailored interventions for Latino subgroups who represent pockets of vulnerability and require precise and specialized interventions that optimize access to and impact of interventions. This pilot study will inform feasibility and identify modifications needed in the design of a larger hypothesis testing study (R01). It is a requisite initial step in exploring an innovative application of the HOLA health promotion intervention.