Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Religious Coping and Physiological, Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Outcomes in Patients with HIV/AIDS: Cross-sectional and Longtiudinal Findings

Abstract The present study investigated the relationships between positive religious coping (e.g., seeking spiritual support) and spiritual struggle (e.g., anger at God) versus viral load, CD4 count, quality of life, HIV symptoms, depression, self-esteem, social support, and spiritual well-being in 429 patients with HIV/AIDS. Data were collected through patient interview and chart review at baseline and 12–18 months later from four clinical sites. At baseline, positive religious coping was associated with positive outcomes while spiritual struggle was associated with negative outcomes. In addition, high levels of positive religious coping and low levels of spiritual struggle were associated with small but significant improvements over time. These results have implications for assessing religious coping and designing interventions targeting spiritual struggle in patients with HIV/AIDS.