Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Inez Tuck


Problem: The United States of America has one of the highest number of HIV infections in the world; approximately 1.3 million people in North America were living with HIV in 2007. Factors influencing HIV survival are essential to disease management and care. Research findings suggest religion and spirituality may be essential components to health and well-being in individuals with HIV-Disease. Purpose: This study was designed to determine how well spirituality predicted health status in a convenience sample of 39 adults diagnosed with HIV-Disease. Procedure: A model building approach was used to explore relationships among the five variables of the Neuman Systems model. The following were used to collect data: (physiological) 1993 Revised CDC Classification System for HIV Infection, Revised HIV Center Medical Staging Scale (rHMCSS), lowest ever CD4+T-lymphocyte count, current CD4+T-lymphocyte count, AIDS status, and viral load; (spiritual) Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS), Brief Religious Coping Scale (RCOPE), Religious Commitment Index—10, and religious affiliation; (psychological) Sense of Coherence—13 Scale (SOC) and mental health history; (sociocultural) ethnicity, income, and relationship status; (developmental) date of birth.Results: Income, the Meaningfulness subscale of the SOC-13 scale, age, and the Existential Well-Being subscale of the SWBS had significant relationships with the current rHCMSS score and explained 28.3% (p = .027) of the variance. The model that included EWB, Negative RCOPE, and the interaction of Negative RCOPE and EWB, in which an adjustment for income had been made, explained 32.9% (p = .011) of the variance in health status.Conclusions: The five variables of the NSM provided a well supported, holistic framework for investigating how much spirituality contributed to health status in PLWHA. The best explanatory model included: EWB, Negative RCOPE, income, and the interaction between EWB and Negative RCOPE. The existential component of spirituality, and especially the element of meaning, modified by negative religious coping, is an essential contributor to the health status of people living with HIV-Disease.Software: This document was created in Microsoft Word 2000. Power analysis was done using nQuery 6.0 Software and SPSS 15.0 © Statistical Software program was used for other statistical analyses.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Nursing Commons