An Adapted Cognitive Behavioral Stress and Self-management Intervention for Sexual Minority Men Living With HIV and Cancer Using the SmartManage eHealth Platform: Protocol and Study Design

Marc Puccinelli, Julia Seay, Amy Otto, Sofia Garcia, Tracy E. Crane, Roberto M. Benzo, Natasha Solle, Brian Mustanski, Nipun Merchant, Steven A. Safren, Frank J. Penedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Sexual minority men are disproportionately affected by HIV. Medical advances in HIV treatment have extended life expectancy, and as this group ages, medical and psychological challenges become more prominent. Older people with HIV experience a higher incidence of cancer and other comorbidities; these burdens along with sexual minority stress can strain coping resources and diminish health-related quality of life. Interventions such as cognitive behavioral stress and self-management (CBSM) can mitigate some of this burden; however, no manualized, eHealth-based interventions have focused on the unique needs of sexual minority men living with HIV and cancer. Objective: This study aims to refine and finalize a web-based, CBSM-based intervention to meet the unique needs of this population, including sexual health, comanagement of 2 chronic conditions, and coping with sexual minority stress. Methods: This mixed methods study used a previously completed qualitative phase (n=6) to inform the development of a web-based platform and intervention called SmartManage. The pilot phase study (n=50) involved randomization (1:1) into either 10 sessions of adapted CBSM or an attention control health promotion. Both conditions used the SmartManage platform, a web-based eHealth program designed to deliver CBSM and health promotion content and host live groups. Feasibility and acceptability (eg, rates of participant engagement and retention) were the primary outcomes. Results: Participant-related activities are expected to be completed by November 2022, and results are expected to be submitted for publication by February 2023. Conclusions: We hypothesize that participants would find the intervention acceptable (compared with engagement and retention rates observed in similar CBSM studies). We also hypothesize that participants receiving the SmartManage intervention would have reduced symptom burden and improved health-related quality of life before and after treatment compared with those who do not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere37822
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grant IRG-17-183-16 from the American Cancer Society and by the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Additionally, this study was supported in part by the National Cancer Institute supplement to 3P30CA060553-26 (principal investigator: Leonidas Platanias) to the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. This was also made possible with support from the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research, a National Institutes of Health–funded center (P30 AI117943).

Publisher Copyright:
© JMIR Research Protocols.All right reserved.


  • cancer
  • cognitive behavioral stress and self-management
  • HIV
  • intervention
  • participant
  • SmartManage

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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