Research has shown that some spiritual practices may help people with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) to cope with psychological distress and improve quality of life. Researchers led by Jill Bormann, Ph.D., R.N., at the VA San Diego Healthcare System investigated the use of one such practice—a mantram—by people with HIV. A mantram was defined by the authors as a word or phrase with spiritual associations that is repeated silently several times throughout the day. The 68 participants were randomly assigned to six 90-minute sessions in which they either learned how to use a mantram or participated in education/discussion groups. The mantram group showed a significant decrease in anger (one of the measures of psychological distress) and a significant increase in aspects of spiritual well-being (which may improve quality of life). The authors recommend that further research be done to confirm these findings.
- Journal of Behavioral Medicine, August 2006