Spousal death is one the most stressful life events that seriously affects the psychological well being of widowed. This study examined the mediating effects of social and personal religiosity on the psychological well being of widowed elderly people. The sample for this study was comprised of 1367 widowed and married elderly Muslims from Malaysia. Psychological well being, religiosity, and physical health were measured using WHO-5 Well being Index, Intrinsic Extrinsic religiosity scale, and a checklist of 16 physical health problems, respectively. Data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (version-13). As expected, bivariate correlation analysis revealed that widowhood is statistically and negatively associated with psychological well being. Results of multiple hierarchical regression analyses and Sobel test showed that only the indirect effect of widowhood through personal religiosity was statistically significant (Sobel = -2.79, p < .01). Sobel test for social religiosity was not significant (Sobel = -1.54, p > .05). The results of this study confirmed earlier studies, which found that widowhood negatively affects psychological well being of elderly people. Overall, the findings show that the potential solace provided by religiosity can decrease the negative effects of widowhood on the psychological well being of widowed elderly people.
This study aimed to evaluate the validity and reliability of the Persian version of Death Anxiety Scale-Extended (DAS-E). A total of 507 patients with end-stage renal disease completed the DAS-E. The factor structure of the scale was evaluated using exploratory factor analysis with an oblique rotation and confirmatory factor analysis. The content and construct validity of the DAS-E were assessed. Average variance extracted, maximum shared squared variance, and average shared squared variance were estimated to assess discriminant and convergent validity. Reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient (α = .839 and .831), composite reliability (CR = .845 and .832), Theta (θ = .893 and .867), and McDonald Omega (Ω = .796 and .743). The analysis indicated a two-factor solution. Reliability and discriminant validity of the factors was established. Findings revealed that the present scale was a valid and reliable instrument that can be used in assessment of death anxiety in Iranian patients with end-stage renal disease.
This study explored health-care workers' perception of patients' suicide intention and their understanding of factors leading to particular interpretations. Semistructured face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted with 32 health-care workers from a general hospital in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Interview data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis. The health-care workers were found to have four types of perceptions: to end life, not to end life, ambivalence about intention, and an evolving understanding of intention. Factors leading to their perceptions of patients' suicide intention were patient demographics, health status, severity of ideation/attempt, suicide method, history of treatment, moral character, communication of suicide intention, affective/cognitive status, availability of social support, and health-care workers' limited knowledge of patients' condition/situation. Insufficient knowledge and negative attitudes toward suicidal patients led to risk minimization and empathic failure, although most health-care workers used the correct parameters in determining suicide intention.
Ensuring use of valid and reliable scales for evaluating death anxiety that are relevant to the cultural context where they are applied is essential. The purpose of the study was to conduct a systematic review of the psychometric properties of Templer's Death Anxiety Scale (DAS) across cultures. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Knowledge, SID, and Magiran databases were systematically searched for studies published between 1970 and 2017 using Mesh terms. Two independent researchers used Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies and Checklist of Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy to evaluate study quality. Included studies were conducted in Iran, United States, Italy, China, Egypt, Spain, and Australia. Overall study quality was acceptable in 15 evaluated articles. However, findings demonstrated that two (one study), three (seven studies), four (four studies), and five factors (three studies) were extracted across the respective studies. Confirmatory concurrent validity was assessed in two studies. While Templer's DAS has stood the test of time as a commonly used index of capturing the conscious experience of death anxiety, there are psychometric inconsistencies in identified factor solutions across cultures. Findings emphasize the need for continued evaluation of how the DAS is translated in specific countries with assessment in relation to other death construct tools.
Suffering experiences are common phenomena in palliative care. In this study, we aim to explore the different patterns of suffering in palliative care. Adult palliative care patients were recruited from the University of Malaya Medical Centre. Suffering scores were charted 3 times a day for a week. The characteristics of the suffering charts were analyzed using SPSS. The patterns of suffering were analyzed using structural pattern recognition. A total of 53 patients participated. The overall trends of suffering were downward (64%), upward (19%), and stable (17%). Median minimum and maximum suffering scores were 2/10 and 6/10, with an average of 3.6/10. Nine patterns of suffering were recognized from categorizing two key characteristics of suffering (intensity and fluctuation)-named S1 to S9. Understanding the different patterns of suffering may lead to better suffering management.