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Death Anxiety

Assessing And Changing Death Anxiety

The most common method used to assess death anxiety is the self-report questionnaire, which has been employed in over 95 percent of all studies. Several of the more carefully validated measures, including those assessing positive feelings about death are reviewed in Robert Neimeyer's Death Anxiety Handbook (1994). Projective instruments (e.g., the Rorschach inkblot test or Thematic Apperception Test), which were once popular assessment methods, are no longer in favor due to the inability of researchers to document the reliability and validity of projective techniques.

Feelings about death can be modified, although there is still much to learn about causal factors. There is information about two types of events: near-death experiences and death-education programs. Near-death experiences are situations in which individuals feel their death is imminent as a result of an accident, a near-accident, a medical condition, or some other event. Near-death experiences often have a salutary effect by reducing negative feelings and increasing positive feelings about death.

Death education can also influence death anxieties, but it depends on the type of program. Experiential death education refers to classes or workshops that help participants examine and discuss their personal views and feelings about death. This is usually achieved through a combination of readings, movies, videos, experiential exercises, and frank discussions. In contrast, didactic death education is primarily educational in nature and tends to include lectures and readings, but little or no exploration and disclosure of personal feelings. Whereas experiential death education significantly reduces death anxiety, didactic programs have no significant impact.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 1Death Anxiety - What Is Death Anxiety?, Correlates Of Death Anxiety, Assessing And Changing Death Anxiety, Death Anxiety And Behavior