How social support affects the ability of clinical nursing personnel to cope with death

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how social support has an impact on nursing personnel's coping ability when they are faced with a death in a clinical situation. Background: The amount of social support may have an impact on nursing personnel's ability to cope with patient deaths. Methods: Overall, 323 effective questionnaires were returned. Their respective scores calculated according to the Death Coping Self-Efficacy Scale and Social Support Scale, using hierarchical regression for a statistical test. Results: With regard to identification of coping with grief, the length of service of nurses (3–4.9 years vs 1–2.9 years) (β = −0.15, p =.020) and unit type (oncology ward vs general medicine ward) (β = 0.15, p =.009) reached significance. Following the control of basic attributes, social support can effectively influence their preparation for death, of which peer support reached significance (β = 0.27, p <.001). Moreover, social support can also affect one's ability to cope with death; specifically, peer support reached significance (β = 0.23, p <.001). Conclusions: Support provided by supervisors and peers have a positive impact on the nursing personnel when nurses are providing hospice care for the terminally ill. Furthermore, sufficient support from colleagues can be an important source of comfort for clinical nursing personnel to manage their preparation for and overall strategies to cope with the death of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Coping with death
  • Nursing personnel
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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