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Exercise stereotypes, fatigue and physical activity in people living with HIV : an identification of psychological and physiological mechanisms at play

Abstract : Physical activity (PA) has been reported to have many beneficial effects among people living with HIV (PLHIV), especially on fatigue, which is one of the main prevalent symptom and possible side effects of treatments in this population. Nevertheless, PLHIV remain insufficiently active according to PA recommendations. Based on contemporary theories of stereotypes applied to health behaviours (e.g., Stereotype Embodiment Theory, Levy, 2009; Stereotype Threat Theory, Steele & Aronson, 1995) and an integrative approach of fatigue (Kluger et al., 2013), this doctoral work postulated that exercise stereotypes endorsement or activation would play a role in the PA level of PLHIV and in their performance in fatiguing tasks. The first part of this dissertation identified the content of stereotypes related to PA and HIV through a qualitative approach (Study 1) and conducted the development and validation of a specific scale (Study 2). The second part aimed at identifying the mechanisms at play in the relationship between exercise stereotypes, fatigue and PA. Results showed that exercise stereotypes might influence PA through ego depletion mechanisms, as indexed by perceived fatigue and, be tempered by exercise self-efficacy (Study 3). Perceived fatigue and performance fatigability might also depend on the PA level of PLHIV, the more physically active PLHIV being characterised by lower perceived fatigue and performance fatigability (Study 4). Finally, based on stereotype threat theory, the last part of this doctoral work indicated that the nonexerciser stereotype threat could affect performance fatigability in less active PLHIV (Study 5) but not in healthy adults (Study 6). Furthermore, self-efficacy tempered the effect of the nonexerciser stereotype in less active PLHIV (Study 5). These results enrich the literature on stereotypes in the PA domain while raising interesting questions for contemporary models of fatigue in chronic diseases.
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Laura Gray. Exercise stereotypes, fatigue and physical activity in people living with HIV : an identification of psychological and physiological mechanisms at play. Psychology. COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015 - 2019), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018AZUR4217⟩. ⟨tel-02073117⟩

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