Nursing student end-of-life care attitudes after an online death and dying course

  • Conner N
  • Loerzel V
  • Uddin N
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Undergraduate nursing education inconsistently prepares students for their role in providing end-of-life care. Nurses, therefore, experience inadequacies surrounding communication, symptom management, and cultural competence in end-of-life care. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an online death and dying course on nursing student attitudes and feelings about caring for patients at end of life. Students enrolled in a 16-week online death and dying course were compared with students in a control group on baseline and follow -up Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying scale and Death Attitudes Profile-Revised subscale scores and preintervention and postintervention score changes. Students who received the intervention had significant improvements in attitudes toward caring for the dying (F1, 120 = 11-22, P = .0011, effect size = 0.61) and, among students with no religious affiliation , acceptance of death (F1, 120 = 6.07, P = .0152, effect size = 0.46). Postintervention Death Attitude Profile-Revised death avoidance and approach acceptance subscale scores were predictive of postintervention Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying scores. An online death and dying course can positively impact nursing students' attitude toward death and care of the dying. Students' general attitudes about death will impact their attitudes of providing end-of-life care.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Death and dying
  • End-of-life care
  • Nursing students
  • Online education

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  • Norma E. Conner

  • Victoria Wochna Loerzel

  • Nizam Uddin

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