Original Articles

Death anxiety in elderly cases

Alpha Psychiatry 2011; 12: 37-43
Read: 691 Downloads: 532 Published: 01 February 2011

Objective: The purpose of this study was to find out the level of death anxiety evaluate its relationship with several sociodemographic and clinical variables among elderly patients who have been referred to psychiatry outpatient clinics with consultation from other outpatient clinics in an university hospital. Methods: Two hundred patients (117 male, 83 female) who have been referred to Cukurova University Medical Faculty Psychiatry out-patient clinics via consultation were included in the present study. A formal psychiatric interview were conducted with all cases, and demographic and clinical variables were recorded thereafter. After the interview, all patients completed Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Templer Death Anxiety Scale (DAS), Death Depression Scale (DDS) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) quality of life scale. Results: Of all patients included in the present study, 58,5% were female with an average age of 67.16±5.0 for whole group. The mean DAS score for whole group was 7.7. There was a mild positive correlation between SF-36 and DAS scores. The same correlation was alos valid between SF-36 and DDS scores. Evaluation of the relationship between demographic variables and scale scores revealed positive correlation between DAS score and the number of children of the patients, while a negative correlation was present between DAS and length of education. There were no significant differences in DAS and DDS scores with regards to physical disorder type. The presence of bereavement within one year time was not a significant factor for change in DAS scores while there was a signifi-cant increase in death anxiety among patients who had frequent death thoughts in the last month. Conclusion: The results of this study presented significant relationship between death anxiety and length of education, number of children and frequency of death thoughts among elderly patients. No such relationship could be determined for the type of physical disease. Prospective studies carefully searching for different variables in elderly cases would reveal and help us to understand the importance of death anxiety and its impact on courses of physical and mental disorders [Anadolu Psikiyatri Derg 2011; 12(1.000): 37-43]

EISSN 2757-8038