The Influence of Positive and Negative Death Attitudes on Medical Students' Empathy and Attitudes Toward End-of-Life Care
Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology
Stephen R Poteau, PhD, Chairperson
Petra Kottsieper, PhD
Katherine Galluzzi, DO
This quantitative study employed a cross-sectional survey research design in order to examine the relationships between medical students’ death attitudes, empathy, and attitudes toward end-of-life care. The participants were 206 medical students currently enrolled in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia campus. Results indicated that there were no significant differences in the level of empathy between medical students who held strong positive death attitudes and medical students with strong negative death attitudes. However, results indicated that significant differences existed in attitudes toward end-of-life care between medical students who held strong positive death attitudes and medical students with strong negative death attitudes, with possessing strong the former reporting more negative attitudes toward end-of-life care. No significant relationships were indicated in regard to positive death attitudes based on students’ gender or cohort year. These findings provided information about how future physicians cope with death, and how their personal death attitudes influence their expression of empathy and their attitudes toward end-of-life care.
Palumbo, Elizabeth, "The Influence of Positive and Negative Death Attitudes on Medical Students' Empathy and Attitudes Toward End-of-Life Care" (2015). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 342.
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