Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Linda Robinson, PhD, RN, Chairperson; Patricia A. Roth, EdD, RN; Mary Woods Scherr, PhD


elderly, Gerontology, health, nursing, self-transcendence, spirituality, symptom management, Osteoarthritis, well-being


Healthcare providers need to identify holistic self-care techniques that are endorsed by patients as effective strategies for symptom management of osteoarthritis, which is the single most common cause of disability in older adults. Research in this area may direct the development of interventions to ensure that older adults are afforded every opportunity to remain active and productive, with an improved health related quality of life, despite age related musculoskeletal conditions. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationships among symptom experience, symptom management, and symptom outcome based on spiritual well-being. A quantitative, descriptive, correlational, and noninterventional study design, guided by the Revised Symptom Management Conceptual Model (Dodd et al., 2001), examined the relationships among osteoarthritis pain, stiffness, and physical function, spiritual practices, and quality of life. Data from six self-report instruments were collected during an interview from a convenience sample of 68 participants, clinically diagnosed with osteoarthritis, recruited from senior centers, retirement communities, and physician offices, in San Diego County. Study findings revealed: (a) greater spiritual existential well-being was significantly associated with improved physical function (r = -.294, p = .015), (b) higher levels of spiritual existential well-being were associated with men (r = -.268, p = .027), adequate financial resources (r = -.480, p = .000), higher education (r = .268, p = .027), and current employment (r = -.371, p = .002), (c) age, marital status and osteoarthritis demographics were not significantly correlated with spiritual well-being, (d) greater spiritual existential well-being scores were significantly related to overall quality of life (r = 484, p = .000), interpersonal relationships (r =.342, p =.004), well-being (r =.349, p =.003), and transcendence (r = .298, p = .014). Further research is warranted to include: (a) study replication with a more symptomatic sample, utilizing an additional quality of life measure, (b) binary factor analysis for instrument development, and (c) interventional studies with patient endorsed spiritual practices. Key words. spirituality; self-transcendence; health; well-being; osteoarthritis.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons