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Educación Médica Superior

Print version ISSN 0864-2141On-line version ISSN 1561-2902


DE DIOS DUARTE, María José  and  VARELA MONTERO, Isabel. Coping with death by students of Health Sciences. Educ Med Super [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.1, e1375.  Epub Mar 01, 2019. ISSN 0864-2141.


Death is a process that is present in life. Health science students are particularly exposed to it, as well as to the fact of being present and accompanying dying patients in such process.


To know the levels of coping with death in students of health sciences. To know the influence of other variables such as gender, age, academic year, religion and previous experiences with death in association to coping with death.


A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out. The sample consisted of 227 students from Alfonso X el Sabio University in Madrid, Spain. For measuring coping of death, Bugen's Coping with Death Scale was used.


Nursing students showed higher levels of coping with death than Pharmacy or Physical Activity and Sport students. The chi-square test showed a relation between the degree completed and the level of coping with death (p<0.01). The Student's t-test also showed no statistically significant differences when considering coping with death together with having previous experiences with dying (p<0.01). No influence of gender, age, academic year and religion was found in association with the level of coping.


This study shows the need to include, in the syllabuses, subjects that treat the process of death, so that psychological-emotional aspects of the professional can be handled appropriately, as it is an issue that will have an impact on the increase in the quality of healthcare.

Keywords : coping; death; students; health sciences.

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