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Nursing Research:
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Spiritual Activities as a Resistance Resource for Women With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Sowell, Richard; Moneyham, Linda; Hennessy, Michael; Guillory, Joyce; Demi, Alice; Seals, Brenda

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Abstract

Background: Few studies have investigated the role that spiritual activities play in the adaptational outcomes of women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease.

Objective: To examine the role of spiritual activities as a resource that may reduce the negative effects of disease-related stressors on the adaptational outcomes in HIV-infected women.

Methods: A theoretically based causal model was tested to examine the role of spiritual activities as a moderator of the impact of HIV-related stressors (functional impairment, work impairment, and HIV-related symptoms) on two stress-related adaptational outcomes (emotional distress and quality of life), using a clinic-based sample of 184 HIV-positive women.

Results: Findings indicated that as spiritual activities increased, emotional distress decreased even when adjustments were made for HIV-related stressors. A positive relationship between spiritual activities and quality of life was found, which approached significance. Findings showed that HIV-related stressors have a significant negative effect on both emotional distress and quality of life.

Conclusions: The findings support the hypothesis that spiritual activities are an important psychological resource accounting for individual variability in adjustment to the stressors associated with HIV disease.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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