Death distress among two samples of lower and higher stress in health care professionals

Author(s): Ayyad F


A convenience sample of 195 volunteer nurses working in different medical departments was recruited (77 Kuwaiti, 118 non-Kuwaiti from 10 countries; 55 men, 140 women; ages 25 to 51 years). Participants responded in English to the Arabic Scale of Death Anxiety, the Death Depression Scale, the Death Obsession Scale, and the Reasons for Death Fear Scale. Pearson correlations between the four scales were statistically significant and positive. The only significant sex difference was on the Death Depression Scale with men reporting more stress. It was also found that nurses dealing with critical cases and working in higher stress departments (Intensive Care Unit and Heart Department) obtained higher mean scores on the Death Depression Scale, Death Obsession Scale, and Reasons for Death Fear Scale than their counterparts working in lower stress departments such as internal medicine. It was concluded that working in higher stress nursing departments affected death distress. Nurses with high scores on death distress may benefit from a thanatopsis program. There is reason to believe that this may ameliorate relations with patients.

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