Effects of spiritual mantram repetition on HIV outcomes: a randomized controlled trial

J Behav Med. 2006 Aug;29(4):359-76. doi: 10.1007/s10865-006-9063-6. Epub 2006 Jul 18.


We examined the efficacy of a psycho-spiritual intervention of mantram repetition--a word or phrase with spiritual associations repeated silently throughout the day--on psychological distress (intrusive thoughts, stress, anxiety, anger, depression), quality of life enjoyment and satisfaction, and existential spiritual well-being in HIV-infected adults. Using a 2-group by 4-time repeated measures design, 93 participants were randomly assigned to mantram (n = 46) or attention control group (n = 47). Over time, the mantram group improved significantly more than the control group in reducing trait-anger and increasing spiritual faith and spiritual connectedness. Actual mantram practice measured by wrist counters was inversely associated with non-HIV related intrusive thoughts and positively associated with quality of life, total existential spiritual well-being, meaning/peace, and spiritual faith. Intent-to-treat findings suggest that a mantram group intervention and actual mantram practice each make unique contributions for managing psychological distress and enhancing existential spiritual well-being in adults living with HIV/AIDS.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / psychology
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / therapy
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Practice, Psychological
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Spirituality*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Viral Load


  • RNA, Viral