This study examined the impact of a medical illness in 36 elderly male and female home health care patients with a primary diagnosis of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how they coped with their medical condition. Relationships between depression and religious coping, functional status, quality of life, and depression, as well as relationship between functional status and quality of life were investigated. In addition, a moderating effect of the relationship between functional status and depression by religious coping was explored. The participants completed the Religious Problem-Solving Scale (RPSS) (Collaborative, Deferring, and Self-Directing), the SF-12 Health Survey (Physical Health and Mental Health), the Duke Activity Status Index (DASI), and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDIII). The data were analyses by means of Pearson correlation coefficients and multiple regression analyses. The test results suggested that mental health was the only significant predictor of level of depression. Furthermore, the results indicated a strong relationship between functional status and physical health as well as mental health, suggesting that decreased physical functioning due to a medical illness diminished the quality of life. Finally, Collaborative and Deferring coping styles did not significantly moderate the relationship between Functional Status and Depression. However, the main effects of the two coping styles were significant with medium-large (Collaborative) and medium (Deferring) effect sizes. Despite the small moderating effect of the two coping styles, these findings are still important and useful. They draw attention to clinical importance. Evaluation of patients’ religious problem solving or coping style appears to be helpful in detecting depression, and identification of depression in home care patients makes determination of treatment needs possible and provides opportunities for improved quality of life for this population. The small sample size is a limitation of this study. Further study of religious coping styles as moderators of the relationship between depression and physical functioning in a large study with a more representative sample is recommended for clarification of the impact religious coping may have on depression and major health related stressors in home health care patients.

LLU Discipline





Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Michael Galbraith

Second Advisor

Kendal Boyd

Third Advisor

Johnny Ramirez

Fourth Advisor

Matt Riggs

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Religion and Psychology; Religion and Medicine; Quality of Life; Depression -- psychology.


Doctoral Project

Page Count

x; 93

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives