Death Anxiety among Nurses and Health Care Professionals: A Review Article

Document Type: Review article


1 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery of Amol, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

2 Department of Nursing, Michigan State College of Nursing, East Lansing, Michigan, USA;

3 Department of Nursing, Behavioral Sciences Research Center (BSRC), Nursing Faculty of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Critical Care Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Death anxiety, a negative affective state that is incited by mortality salience, may be experienced by nurses and other health care workers who are exposed to sickness, trauma, and violence. This paper examines death anxiety and management strategies among health providers in different health settings across cultures. A literature review of the research published since 2000 in the English language was conducted using PubMed, Science direct, CINAHL, and PsychInfo databases. Death anxiety is commonly experienced and is associated with more negative attitudes about caring for dying patients and their families. Performing educational and psychological interventions to help nurses build strong coping strategies for managing death anxiety are recommended to offset negative consequences such as leaving positions, poor communication, and decrements in personal health and quality of life.