Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


This investigation examined spiritual perspectives of elderly adults and depression in one rural community area of western Kansas. Previous studies suggested that depression is a predominant mental health disorder among the elderly. Neuman's Systems Model served as the theoretical framework for this investigation. Using Neuman's framework, spiritual perspective and depression were selected as variables to be compared. The purpose of this investigation was to describe spiritual perspectives of elderly adults and determine whether or not differences existed between groups of depressed and non-depressed elderly. Spiritual perspectives are representative of interpersonal, intra-personal, and extra-personal factors. These factors may alter the individuals' lines of resistance and the lines of defense. This investigation described and compared data collected from 38 subjects. All subjects completed an Informed Consent Form, Demographic Data Sheet, Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression scale (CES-D), and a Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS). Depression was determined by the CES-D score of 20 or more. Spiritual perspective was measured with the SPS score using a Likert-type scale ranging 1.0 to 6.0 with 6.0 representative of the greater spiritual perspective. Subjects were divided into groups of depressed (n = 19) and non-depressed (n = 19) according to CES-D scores. SPS score median values of each group were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U Test. The difference In the median values between the two groups was not great enough to exclude the possibility that the difference was due to random sampling variability, there was no statistically significant difference found (p = 0.133). Additional findings include subjects' comments about the importance or meaning of spirituality. The percentage of elderly adults with depression in this investigation (34%) was found to be consistent with findings from other depression studies (20 - 40 %) Recommendations for replication of this investigation include using a larger sample size. Identification of Internal environmental factors that compare statistically with the incidence of depression may contribute to the significance of delivering holistic nursing care.


Mary R. Hassett

Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1995 Luann Sanderson


For questions contact

Off Campus FHSU Users Click Here