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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 1991 Sep-Oct;8(5):37-43.

The effects of death education on nurses' attitudes toward caring for terminally ill persons and their families.


This study sought to determine the effectiveness of an education program on nurses' attitudes toward caring for terminally ill persons and their family members. The program, based on the hospice concept of care, included a didactic section based on Kubler-Ross' stages of death and dying, and a role-play model designed by the researcher. Data were collected from 34 licensed nurses, aged 18 to 65, practicing in the midwestern United States. The Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD) was designed by the researcher to assess nurses' attitudes. The FATCOD was found to be a valid and reliable tool. All nurses completed the tool before and after the education program (pre-test, post-test). Compared by a t-test, the scores for the nurses were significantly higher after participation in the educational program. The t-value was found to be 2.97, significant at the less than 0.01 level, 2-tailed probability = 0.006. These findings support the hypothesis that nurses have a more positive attitude toward caring for terminally ill persons and their family members after participation in the program, than the same nurses had before participating in the program. Demographic information including age, years of experience in nursing, highest degree held, basic type of nursing preparation and previous education on death and dying were analyzed to determine their relationship to the nurses' attitudes. The only information which demonstrated any significant relationship to the nurses' attitudes was that of previous education on death and dying. These were computed by an analysis of variance (ANOVA) F = 3.22, F prob = 0.04, significant at less than 0.05 level.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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