The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

DEATH ANXIETY AMONG RESPIRATORY CARE STUDENTS.

Kevin P. Collins, S. Gregory Marshall; Respiratory Care, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX Kevin P. Collins, S. Gregory Marshall, Respiratory Care, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas

Background: This longitudinal study assessed respiratory care (RC) students’ level of death anxiety at five different points in their respiratory care education as measured by the revised Collett-Lester Fear of Death and Dying Scale (CL-FODS). The CL-FODS was administered as pre- and post-tests prior to the first clinical rotation and as a post-clinical assessment following each of three clinical rotations (N=36). The null hypothesis states there will be no difference in the death anxiety level as measured by the CL-FODS for respiratory care students between pre-test and post-clinical assessments. Methodology: In this exempted IRB study, students were administered the CL-FODS pre-test prior to presentation of a didactic module on death and dying. Students were post-tested immediately following instruction. As clinical rotations were completed the following next three semesters, students were reassessed using the CL-FODS at the conclusion of each clinical rotation. The CL-FODS contains thirty-two test questions with eight questions in each of four categories asking students to assess their feelings of “Your Own Death,” “Your Own Dying,” “The Death of Others,” and “The Dying of Others” using a 5-point Likert scale. The post-clinical instrument contained the same thirty-two questions with an additional question inquiring whether the student had experienced a patient death and dying situation during the clinical rotation. If the answer to the experience question was affirmative, then four additional questions were asked to gain demographic perspective of the student’s death or dying experience. Repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc analysis were utilized to analyze the data at an alpha level of 0.05. Results: ANOVA analysis of the mean differences between subjects from five different intervals (p=0.01) demonstrated a significant difference between the means of pre-, post-, post-clinical CL-FODS test scores. Post-hoc analysis revealed statistical significance between Pre-Test/Post Clinical Spring and Post-Clinical Fall/Post Clinical Spring scores and the null hypothesis was rejected. Conclusion: The study suggests exposure of RC students to death and dying didactic education with continued clinical death and dying experiences may result in a decreased death anxiety score among respiratory care students. Sponsored Research - None