Handling Death Anxiety in the care of patients receiving palliative care

From LCPC Newsletter

Dr Lee Geok Ling, Assistant Professor with Department of Social Work in NUS, was the speaker for the SHC-LCPC Multidisciplinary Forum on 30 August 2016. She is also registered with the Singapore Association of Social Workers and a certified member of thanatology.

Death anxiety (DA) is the state in which an individual experiences apprehension, worry or fear related to death & dying (Carpenito-Moyet, 2008, p. 39). The most common form of DA, also the least level, is fear of death. Not only does it affect the patients, it could affect their caregivers and healthcare providers.

It is predicted that older adults living in institutional settings, seriously ill or low in “ego integrity” have higher DA, whereas hospice patients who enjoyed social support are predicted to have low DA. The forum ended with Dr Lee stressing on the importance of assessing DA in individuals with psychological distress and behavioural problems. She concluded by reminding healthcare providers to assess their own DA when facing death, pain or suffering in their clinical practice.

Read the full article here.

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