Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Matthew Fearrington


The 9th leading cause of death in the United States is kidney disease. An estimated 37 million Americans in the United States, or about 15% of the adult population, have some level of chronic kidney disease. Kidney disease is multifaceted and has implications for both physical and psychological health of a patient. However, research on kidney dialysis patients has primarily focused on physical health. Grounded in social learning theory, this quantitative study used a correlational research design to examine the relationship between spirituality and mental health in 128 kidney dialysis patients with end-stage renal disease. Kidney dialysis patients at kidney dialysis centers completed the Spiritual Involvement Beliefs Scale-Revised, which assessed their spirituality, and the General Health Questionnaire, which assessed their mental health. A multiple linear regression analysis with backward elimination was conducted to address the hypotheses. The results suggested that there is a significant predictive relationship between the spirituality and mental health of patients who received kidney dialysis treatment. Spiritual explorations and activities provide comfort and a deeper meaning to life, which improves the patients’ quality of life and can result in increased benefit from medical treatment. The indications are that providing efficient mental health support to this group of patients should take the patients’ spirituality in consideration. The findings extend current literature on the topic and may initiate positive social change by suggesting that spiritual explorations and activities designed to give comfort and a deeper meaning to life may improve quality of life and increase benefits from medical treatments for patients with end-stage renal disease.