Assuaging death anxiety in older overseas-born Australians of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds hospitalised for end-of-life care

Megan Jane Johnstone, Alison M. Hutchinson, Helen Rawson, Bernice Redley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Death anxiety is a known phenomenon in older people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) hospitalised for end-of-life (EOL) care. Little is known about how nurses assuage death anxiety in this population. Aims: To investigate strategies used by nurses to assuage death anxiety and facilitate a good death in older CALD Australians hospitalised for EOL care. Methods: Advanced as a qualitative descriptive inquiry, a purposeful sample of 22 nurses was recruited from four Victorian healthcare services. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis processes. Findings: Nurses used three key strategies: recognising death anxiety; delineating its dimensions; and initiating conventional nursingcaring behaviours to help contain it. Contrary to expectations, cultural similarities rather than differences were found in the strategies used. Conclusions: Nursing strategies for recognising, delineating, and managing death anxiety in older CALD people hospitalised at the EOL is an important component of quality EOL care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-285
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • aged
  • anxiety
  • Australia
  • death
  • hospitalisation
  • immigrants
  • nurses
  • terminal care

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