Date of Award

Spring 5-1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Committee Director

Helen Yura

Committee Member

Evelyn J. Singer

Committee Member

Kathryn A. Caufield

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.N8D35


The correlation between the nurses' attitudes toward death, as determined by the Questionnaire for Understanding the Dying Person and His Family, and the nurses' presence with a dying patient at the time of death was analyzed. The subjects were 31 registered nurses employed by eight acute care hospitals in Southeastern Virginia. The nurses were grouped into categories of flexible, moderate, and rigid attitudes toward death, relative to their scores on the questionnaire. Other variables of the nurses' age, sex, religion, strength of religious beliefs, entry level education, highest education level, years of experience, death of family members or friends, attitudes toward funerals, autopsies, and continuing education, preparation of a will, preferred funeral type, desire to notify her family if she were dying, anticipation of the patient death, time of death, and length of nurse-patient relationship were analyzed. No significant correlation was found between the nurses' attitudes toward death and their presence with the patients at the times of death. A significant correlation was determined between the nurses' attitudes toward death and their ages and religions; and between the nurses' presence with the patients at the time of death and the nurses' strength of religious beliefs, their attitudes toward autopsy and notifying their families, and their desires to study death.


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