Spirituality and Chronic Illness

Image J Nurs Sch. 1998;30(3):275-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.1998.tb01305.x.


Purpose: To present a comprehensive overview of spirituality and identify strategies to support the spiritual dimensions of nursing care for people with chronic illness, focusing specifically on HIV-related illness and AIDS.

Significance and scope: The AIDS crisis has brought new emphasis to the need to develop therapeutic interventions to support the coping resources of people living and dying with chronic illness. Conceptual, theoretical, and empirical knowledge related to spirituality was reviewed, integrated, and interpreted within the context of nursing care for this population, emphasizing the spiritual needs of people with HIV-related illness and AIDS.

Conclusions and implications: Spirituality has evolved beyond religious considerations to encompass multidimensional and existential perspectives that are integral to maintaining well-being for the chronically ill. A deeper understanding of spirituality enhances the potential for nurses to identify spiritual needs and incorporate spiritual caring into practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / nursing
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Chronic Disease / nursing*
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • HIV Infections / nursing*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care*
  • Religion*