Spirituality, an established resource within rural America, serves as an important coping mechanism for crises of chronic illness. We examined the effects of spirituality on chronic kidney disease (CKD) maintenance in the rural community of Robeson County, North Carolina. We conducted nine focus group discussions and 16 interviews involving 80 diverse key informants impacted by CKD. As disenfranchised patients, they locally engaged in spirituality which mobilized personal and social resources and elicited support from a transcendent authority. Our participants developed a heuristic and aesthetic understanding of disease, built resilience and self-care skills, and improved overall coping and survival.
Keywords: Chronic; Mental health; Mind–body relations; Renal insufficiency; Rural health; Spirituality.