142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Stigma and mental health in people living with HIV: The role of spirituality

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Megan Purser, M.S. , Clinical Health Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Mark Vosvick, MBA, M.Ed, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
People living with HIV (PLH) face challenges to both their physical and mental health (MH). These challenges include stigma, which is associated with lower MH (Hamra, et al., 2005). Chaudoir et al. (2012) suggests that spirituality buffers this effect. However, no research examines spirituality and MH as multidimensional constructs in this relationship. We hypothesize that spirituality mediates the relationship between stigma and MH in PLH.

Our study consists of three constructs: MH, spirituality and stigma. The Medical Outcomes Student HIV Health Survey (a = 0.77), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (a = 0.92) and the Perceived Stress Scale (a = 0.70) measure MH. The Ironson-Woods Spirituality/Religiousness Index (a = 0.99), the Life Regard Index (a = 0.88) and the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (a = 0.54) measure spirituality. The HIV-Stigma Scale (a = 0.96) measures stigma.

Our HIV-positive, gender balanced sample (N = 179) reported a mean age of 41.4 (SD = 8.4). Using a partial least squares (PLS) approach to structural equation modeling (SEM), results indicate a negative relationship between stigma and MH (β = -0.35, t = 3.26) and stigma and spirituality (β = -0.34, t = 3.40), and a positive relationship between spirituality and MH (β = 0.55, t = 3.17). Stigma and spirituality explain 33.5% of the variance in MH. The Sobel test indicated spirituality fully mediates the relationship between stigma and MH (Sobel = 1.96, p = 0.05).

Knowledge of this relationship suggests practitioner’s focus on interventions to increase components of spirituality in PLH.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the role of spirituality in the relationship between stigma and mental health in people living with HIV. Explain the importance of spirituality for many people living with HIV.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented on mental health and HIV/AIDS at other national conferences (e.g., Society of Behavioral Medicine) and have participated in data collection with many HIV-positive individuals. My dissertation (in progress) for my Ph.D. in Clinical Health Psychology focuses on spirituality in people living with HIV. My specific interest is spiritual coping among people living with HIV/AIDS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4280.0: People Living with HIV/AIDS