Using spirituality to cope with early-stage Alzheimer's disease

Linda Beuscher, Victoria T. Grando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) robs persons living with the disease of their independence and self-esteem, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Understanding how people with early-stage AD cope is a critical step in enhancing their adaptive abilities and ultimately improving their quality of life. This qualitative study describes how individuals with early-stage AD use spirituality to cope with the losses of self-esteem, independence, and social interaction that they face. The purposive sample for this focused ethnographic study consisted of 15 participants living at home in central Arkansas. Holding onto faith, seeking reassurance and hope, and staying connected were the global themes. Personal faith, prayer, connection to church, and family support enhanced the ability of people with early-stage AD to keep a positive attitude as they face living with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-598
Number of pages16
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Alzheimer's
  • Coping
  • Qualitative
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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