Spirituality, social support, and survival in hemodialysis patients

Joann Spinale, Scott D. Cohen, Prashant Khetpal, Rolf A. Peterson, Brenna Clougherty, Christine M. Puchalski, Samir S. Patel, Paul L. Kimmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: No studies have evaluated the relationship among spirituality, social support, and survival in patients with ESRD. This study assessed whether spirituality was an independent predictor of survival in dialysis patients with ESRD after controlling for age, diabetes, albumin, and social support. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: A total of 166 patients who had ESRD and were treated with hemodialysis completed questionnaires on psychosocial variables, quality of life, and religious and spiritual beliefs. The religious variables were categorized into three scores on a 0 to 20 scale (low to high levels): Spirituality, religious involvement, and religion as coping. Social support was assessed using the Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support. Analyses were also performed including and excluding patients with HIV infection. Religious variables were categorized on the basis of means, medians, and tertiles. Results: In analyses that used religious variables, only the responses on the spirituality scale split at the mean were associated with survival. The association of other religious variables with survival did not reach significance. Social support correlated with spirituality, religion as coping, and religious involvement measures. Only social support and age were associated with survival when controlling for diabetes, albumin concentration, HIV infection, and spirituality. Conclusions: These data suggest that the effects of spirituality may be mediated by social support. Larger, multicenter, prospective studies that use well-validated tools to measure religiosity and spirituality are needed to determine whether there is an independent association of spirituality variables with survival in patients with ESRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1620-1627
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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