Spirituality: a cultural strength for African American mothers with HIV

Rebecca L Polzer Casarez, Margaret Shandor Miles
Clinical Nursing Research 2008, 17 (2): 118-32
The purpose of this study was to describe how spirituality affected the lives of African American mothers with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the context of coping. This qualitative descriptive study used secondary data of interviews from a larger longitudinal study of parental caregiving of infants seropositive for HIV. Participants were 38 African American mothers with HIV. Data from longitudinal semi-structured interviews were analyzed using content analysis. The women dealt with the stresses of HIV through a relationship with God. Two domains explain this relationship: God in control and God requires participation. The benefits of their relationship with God were a decrease in stress and worry about their own health and that of their infants. It is important for nurses working with mothers with HIV to acknowledge their spirituality and assess how spirituality helps them cope with and manage their illness.

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