community nursing, death and dying, death anxiety, death attitudes, end of life, palliative



  1. Tang, Mun Leong DN, EdD, RN
  2. Goh, Hongli Sam DN, DBA, RN
  3. Zhang, Hui PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
  4. Lee, Chen Na MN, RN


Nurses working in palliative care settings encounter death and dying regularly and face a greater risk of developing death anxiety and negative attitudes than their counterparts. Such distress and apprehension can cause care fatigue and affect patients' quality of life. Death anxiety remains an underresearched area in Asia, where death and dying are still considered taboo. This study explored death anxiety and its impact on community palliative nurses in Singapore and was conducted at a community hospital in Singapore from January to June 2018. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 16 nurses of different job grades for the face-to-face interviews, which were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the data analytical approach of Miles et al. Four overarching themes were generated: (1) intrinsic factors influencing death anxiety, (2) extrinsic factors influencing death anxiety, (3) emotional struggles and coping, and (4) need for death education and psychological support. Gaps in palliative care education and death education need to be contextualized to increase the community palliative nurses' awareness and acceptance of death and enhance their death literacy in a multicultural setting.