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Investigating the role of perception of aging and associated factors in death anxiety among the elderly

Authors Mohammadpour A, Sadeghmoghadam L, Shareinia H, Jahani S, Amiri F

Received 7 September 2017

Accepted for publication 1 February 2018

Published 15 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 405—410


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ali Mohammadpour,1 Leila Sadeghmoghadam,1 Habib Shareinia,1 Somayeh Jahani,2 Fahimeh Amiri2

1Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran; 2Social Development and Health Promotion Research Centre, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran

Background and objectives: The world’s growing elderly population highlights the necessity for further attention to the psychological problems of the elderly, such as death anxiety. Analysis of the elderly’s perception of aging and associated factors can contribute to prediction of their future physical and mental health. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of perception of aging, and a group of demographic factors, with death anxiety in the elderly living in Gonabad, Iran.
Subjects and methods: This analytical descriptive study was conducted on 330 elderly residents of Gonabad, who were selected by stratified random sampling. Research tools were a standard demographic questionnaire, Barker’s Brief Aging Perceptions Questionnaire, and Collett–Lester Fear of Death Scale. Data were collected by interview of respondents at their home. Data analysis was carried out in SPSS 16 using descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, Pearson’s test, independent t-test, and linear regression.
Results: Respondents had a mean age of 73.97±7.68 years, 42.4% of respondents were men and 57.6% were women. The total Barker’s Brief Aging Perceptions Questionnaire score was 63.18±8.75, with the highest score (17.10±4.70) associated with negative consequences and control. The total Collett–Lester Fear of Death Scale score was 128±14.80, with the highest score (35.13±4.06) pertaining to the subscale fear of other people’s death. Regression results indicated that the death anxiety score was predictable according to the age and all dimensions of perception of aging, except for the consequences and negative control dimension.
Conclusion: Age and the perception of aging are good predictors of death anxiety. The authors recommend further research on the determinants of death anxiety in the elderly and the development of a comprehensive care plan to reduce this anxiety among Iranian elderly.

Keywords: perception of aging, death anxiety, elderly

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