Nurses' willingness to care for AIDS patients and spirituality, social support, and death anxiety Article

cited authors

  • Sherman, DW

fiu authors


  • Objective: Use Rogers' (1992) framework of the science of unitary human beings to examine relationships among spirituality, perceived social support, death anxiety, and nurses' willingness to care for AIDS patients. Design: Descriptive, correlational. Population, Sample, Setting: Population, female RNs in the New York City Metropolitan area who care for patients with AIDS. Convenience sample of 220 RNs who worked in eight hospitals either on AIDS-dedicated units (n = 88), or medical-surgical scatterbed units (n = 132) with a daily AIDS patient census of between 5% to 50%. Data were collected in 1992. Measures: Spiritual Orientation Inventory, the Personal Resource Questionnaire-85, the Templer Death Anxiety Scale, and the Willingness to Care for AIDS Patients Instrument. Methods: Pearson product-moment correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses to test hypotheses. Findings: Willingness to care for AIDS patients was positively correlated with spirituality and perceived social support, and negatively correlated with death anxiety. Death anxiety moderated the relationship between spirituality and willingness to care. In total, 17% of the variance in nurses' willingness to care for AIDS patients was explained. Additional regression analyses indicated that group membership as either an AIDS-dedicated nurse or medical-surgical nurse did not moderate or change hypothesized relationships. Conclusion: Because group membership explained 22% of the variance in willingness to care, the data indicate that group culture or professional identity should be further examined as predictors of nurses' willingness to care for AIDS patients. Clinical Implications: Social support at work from administrators and colleagues, as well as the support from patients themselves is important to nurses and should be fostered. ©1996, Sigma Theta Tau International.

publication date

  • January 1, 1996

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 205

end page

  • 213


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