n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - A physical activity programme to improve motor and cognitive development in HIV positive children on antiretroviral therapy : a randomised controlled trial

Volume 21 Number 4.1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Human immune deficiency virus (HIV) is known to be neurotropic and may cause motor and cognitive development impairment in HIV-positive children. There is inadequate evidence on the effectiveness of neuro-developmental therapy on the motor and cognitive development of HIV-positive children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a physical activity programme on motor and cognitive development in HIV-positive children. Children were randomly allocated to an intervention group who received an individual physical activity programme and massage therapy or to a control group who received standard treatment and massage therapy. Group allocation was concealed in sequentially numbered and opaque, sealed envelopes. The Bayley Scales of Infant Development third edition was used to assess the motor and cognitive development. One hundred and twenty eight children between the ages of three and 36 months were enrolled. No significant differences were found at three or six months after randomisation, between the two groups in the mean motor and cognitive development scores or in the proportions of children that presented with motor or cognitive developmental delay. Fewer children in both groups presented with a delay in motor development at the six-month follow-up visit. The proportion of children with cognitive delay decreased by 2% in the intervention group but increased by 15% in the control group at six months. Further research is required to investigate the need for the implementation of specially designed home-based physical activity intervention programmes with massage therapy to improve motor and cognitive development in HIV-positive children.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error