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Biomed Res Int. 2019 Sep 16;2019:3107692. doi: 10.1155/2019/3107692. eCollection 2019.

A Questionnaire Study on the Attitude towards Death of the Nursing Interns in Eight Teaching Hospitals in Jiangsu, China.

Author information

The First Affiliated Hospital of Kangda College of Nanjing Medical University, The First People's Hospital of Lianyungang, The Affiliated Lianyungang Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Lianyungang 222000, Jiangsu, China.
Kangda College of Nanjing Medical University, Lianyungang 222000, Jiangsu, China.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, The Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing 210008, Jiangsu, China.
Department of Stomatology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310058, Zhejiang, China.
Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro 70182, Sweden.



Nurses play an important role in caring for dying patients. However, little is known about the attitude towards death of the registered nurses in China.

Materials and Methods:

A knowledge, attitude, and the practice (KAP) survey using standardized questionnaires was conducted at eight teaching hospitals in Jiangsu Province, China. In total, 366 nursing interns were recruited and 357 turned in valid response. Data about the interns' demographic characteristics and their attitudes to death in five domains, including fear of death, death avoidance, natural acceptance, approach acceptance, and escape acceptance, were collected.


Compared to the norms, the nursing interns had statistically significantly higher scores in the domains death avoidance, approach acceptance, and fear of death (14.9 vs. 11.1, 26.2 vs. 24.2, and 20.3 vs. 19.0, respectively); however, statistically significantly lower scores were in the domains natural acceptance and escape acceptance (18.4 vs. 22.0, and 13.6 vs. 15.1, respectively). Religious belief, experience of a deceased relative in family, death education, and family atmosphere of discussing death are positively associated with one or more domains of attitude towards death.


The positive attitude towards death and death education before clinical practice are helpful for nursing interns when they care for dying patients. In general, the scores of attitude towards death are at a moderate level in the surveyed Chinese nursing interns. The death education for nursing students needs to be reinforced in China.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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