Assessing Death Anxiety and its Correlates Among Severe Medically Ill in- Patients


avatar Marjan Anvar 1 , avatar Ali Javadpour 2

Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of medical sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran.
Research centre for psychiatry and behavioural sciences, 6 shiraz university of medical sciences, shiraz, IR Iran
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how to cite: Anvar M, Javadpour A. Assessing Death Anxiety and its Correlates Among Severe Medically Ill in- Patients. Shiraz E-Med J.13(3): 122-127.



In spite of the certainty of reality of death, people seem unable to escape anxiety at the prospect of them. Death anxiety contributes to important emotional and behavioral consequences. The aim of this study is to investigate relation of death anxiety with variable such as severity of illness, depression and religious belief.

Patients and Methods:

The study is a cross-sectional, descriptive study. Data were collected using demographic questionnaire, templar death anxiety scale, beck depression questionnaire, cumulative illness rating scale and religious attitude questionnaire. The co relational and regression analysis were conducted to identify the factors that correlate and predict the level of death anxiety respectively.


A group of hundred and fifty persons including 50 severely ill patients, 50 relative caregivers and 50 normal healthy controls completed the questionnaires. Death anxiety score was 7.2 relatives, 5.3 in patients and 4.4 in control group. Depression and severity of illness had positive correlation with death anxiety in medical patients (P < 0.05).in addition to that religious belief had negative correlation with death anxiety (P < 0.05) and was the strongest protective factor for death anxiety in patients group. In relatives and controls depression predicted more death anxiety.


Individuals suffering from Sever medical illnesses do not inevitably experience more death anxiety. Discussing to the relative the fact, the low death anxiety in their relative patients, will preserve the right of patients to make rational decision about their treatment and life. In presence of death anxiety early detection and management of depression could reduce death anxiety.

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