New graduate nurses’ coping with death and the relationship with death self-efficacy and death anxiety: A multicentre cross-sectional study
Ruishuang Zheng, Melissa Jane Bloomer, Qiaohong Guo, Susan Fiona Lee
Aims: To examine new graduate nurses’ perceptions of competency on coping with dying and death, and the relationship with death self-efficacy and death anxiety.
Design: A multicentre, cross-sectional study.
Methods: 340 new graduate nurses from five metropolitan hospitals were recruited between August and November, 2018. Participants completed the Coping with Death Scale, Death Self-efficacy Scale and Death Anxiety Scale.
Results: 298 new graduate nurses responded to the survey. The mean score of coping with death and death self-efficacy was 120.11 (SD 24.59), 259.11 (SD 57.70), respectively. 88.9% feared a painful death, 81.5% were particularly afraid of getting cancer, and 80.2% were afraid of death. There was a positive relationship between coping with death and death self-efficacy, a negative relationship between coping with death and death anxiety, and a negative correlation between death self-efficacy and death anxiety. Five variables, including death self-efficacy, three dimensions of death anxiety including emotion, cognition with life and death and stress and distress, and religion in total accounted for 46.9% of the variance of coping with death.
Conclusion: New graduate nurses are at a disadvantage in terms of death self-efficacy, less well prepared in coping with death, and are more anxious about death.
Impact: It is imperative for educational institutions to support new graduate nurses with pre-licensure learning related to patient death issues and care. Organizations are also strongly advised to support new graduate nurses to cope with patient death through development of culturally-sensitive interventions and guidelines, which may in turn assist with decreasing new graduate nurses’ risk of burnout and increasing their longevity in the profession.
Key words: coping with death; cross-sectional study; death anxiety; death self-efficacy; new graduate nurse