The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among stress, infectious illness, and religiousness/spirituality in community-dwelling older adults in the southeastern United States. Four assessment tools were completed by 82 older adults (mean age = 74, age range = 65 to 91): the Perceived Stress Scale, the Carr Infection Symptom Checklist (SCL), the Brief Multidimensional Measurement of Religiousness/Spirituality, and a demographic form. A significant correlation was found between stress and SCL scores; however, four dimensions of religiousness/spirituality moderated the relationship between stress and infection. Older adults who were unable to forgive themselves or forgive others, or feel forgiven by God, were more likely to have had an infection in the previous month. Increased infections also occurred when older participants did not feel they had religious support from their congregations. Using these findings, gerontological nurses are well positioned to deliver tailored stress management and forgiveness interventions when older adults report increased stress.
- infectious illness,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bonnie_callen/16/