The Death Orientation of nursing students in Korea and China

한국과 중국 간호대학생의 죽음에 대한 의식

  • Li, Zhen-Shu (YanBian Nurses Association, YanBian Medical Society Joint office) ;
  • Choe, Wha-Sook (The Graduate School of Clinical Health Science, Ewha Womans University)
  • Published : 2008.04.01


Perpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the perception of death between Korean and Chinese nursing students. And it will help develop curriculum for preparing death, the quality of hospice care, as well as nursing education and practice. Methods: Data was collected from 492 nursing students participated(248 Korean and 244 Chinese) by questionnaire designed for examining Death Orientation (Thorson & Powell, 1988). They were analyzed using Cronbach's Alpha coefficients, factor analysis, t-test, ANOVA and regression analysis (SPSS; win 12.0 version) Results: More than half of the Korean nursing students followed a religion (58.5%) while the majority of Chinese nursing students did not follow a religion (93.9%). In the view of the afterlife, nursing students in China had two views. 'I really don't know what happens after a person dies (30.3%)' and ‘There is no afterlife and death is the end (29.5%)’. On the other hand the Korean nursing students’ answer were, 'After dying, a person goes to heaven or hell (27.3%)' and 'I really don't know what happens after a person dies. (22.9%)' The study also found that the average of 25 items in Death Orientation is 2.36points of nursing students in Korea and 2.50points of nursing students in China. This means that the concern, anxiety and fear were of the middle level for the Chinese Students and were higher than Korean students (t=3.51, p=.000). In the low factor of death orientation, those in Korea had higher 'anxiety of burden to family' than those in China (t=-3.50, p=.001). The nursing students in China had higher 'anxiety of the unknown (t=4.96, p=.000)', 'fear of suffering (t=6.88, p=.000), 'fear of extinction body and life (t=5.20, p=.000), 'fear of lost self-control(t=2.12, p=.034)', and 'anxiety of future existence and nonexistence (t=2.33, p=.020)' than those in Korea. There was no statistically significant difference for the 'concern of body and fear of identity lost' category. The death orientation of Korean nursing students had statistically significant differences according to age (t=3.20, p=.002), religion (t=2.56, p=.011), and afterlife (F=4.64, p=.000). The contribution of Death Orientation had a statistically significant difference, the afterlife variable (0.735, p=0.001). The death orientation of Chinese nursing students did not have any statistically significant differences. Conclusion: In conclusion, there were differences in death orientation between Korean and Chinese nursing students. In particular, those who believed in afterlife showed acceptance of death. The results of this study suggest that nursing curricula should include education program on death and spiritual nursing. Additional studies are needed to establish death education in China with careful considerations on Chinese policies, cultures and social systems.