Article

Research briefs. Nurses' attitudes toward death and caring for dying patients

Division of Nursing, Indiana University Northwest, Gary, USA.
Oncology nursing forum (Impact Factor: 2.83). 01/1999; 26(10):1683-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine possible relationships among the demographic variables of nurses and their attitudes toward death and caring for dying patients.
Descriptive.
A private hospital and Visiting Nurses Association office in an ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the Midwest.
403 nurses, predominantly female (90%) and Caucasian (70%), with a mean age of 41.8 years.
Participants completed the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale, the Death Attitude Profile-Revised (DAP-R), and a demographic questionnaire.
Attitudes toward death and caring for dying people.
DAP-R scores were related to sex, religious affiliation, and current contact with terminally ill patients. Frommelt scale scores (e.g., showing acceptance of death) were positively related to current contact with dying patients, negatively correlated with two DAP-R subscales (Fear of Death and Death Avoidance), and positively correlated with two other DAP-R subscales (Approach Acceptance and Neutral Acceptance).
Nurses' attitudes toward death and their current contact with terminally ill patients were predictive of their attitudes toward caring for terminally ill patients.
Professionals who are responsible for designing educational programs focused on nurses' attitudes toward caring for terminally ill patients may want to include an assessment of death attitudes and interventions aimed at decreasing negative attitudes and increasing positive attitudes toward death in such programs.

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    • "The findings of these studies indicate that those nurses who had had more contact with terminally ill or dying patients were found to hold more positive attitudes and exhibit less anxiety toward patients who were dying. Rooda et al. (1999), in a sample of American nurses, found that positive attitudes toward the care of terminally ill patients were negatively associated with the fear and avoidance of death. The emotional labor that accompanies nursing care of the dying and the bereaved can be intense and exhausting and can be seen to require a great deal of support and personal awareness and coping strategies (Bailey, Murphy, & Porock, 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to analyze the relationships between death attitudes and perceived emotional intelligence in a sample of nursing students, and to determine whether there are differences between different academic years with regard to both emotional intelligence and death attitudes. The participants were 243 nursing students. They all responded voluntarily and anonymously to a questionnaire that assessed the following constructs: fear of death, death anxiety, death depression, death obsession, and emotional intelligence (attention, clarity, and mood repair). Students' scores on fear of death of others subscale (p < .05) decreased significantly across the 3 years of the nursing degree program and increased significantly on emotional clarity (p < .05), a dimension of emotional intelligence. The multiple linear regression analyses confirmed the predictive value of attention, clarity, and mood repair regarding levels of fear of death of others. The importance of including emotional skills training and death-education programs as part of professional nursing curricula are discussed.
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    • "Hence, poor quality of care can result if the values of the patient and their family have not been identified, if care goals are not coherent, if clinical technology is inappropriately used to assuage patient/family anxiety and if clinicians fail to engage in time-consuming decision processes that can culminate in patient and family mistrust of the system and of professions, if omitted (Meier et al., 2001). Thus, where attitudes to death and dying are shown to be multidimensional and complex, originating from personal, professional and organisational sources, strategies to address them will also be multidimensional (Rooda et al., 1999). "
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