Desensitizing Effect of Frequently Witnessing Death in an Occupation: A Study With Turkish Health-Care Professionals

Baykan N., Arslanturk G., DURUKAN P.

OMEGA-JOURNAL OF DEATH AND DYING, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0030222820904880


This study aimed to investigate anxiety and fear of death created by the consciousness of death in professionals who frequently witness death and to determine variables related to the dimensions of mortality awareness. Data were gathered from 212 health-care employees, primarily those in emergency medicine and intensive care. Variance analysis was used to assess sex and experience groups using the Bonferroni post hoc test. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to determine the predictive relationships. Health-care employees' fear of death decreased with experience. No significant difference was observed between the experience groups in terms of conservatism values such as conformity, tradition, and security in the theory of basic human values. Empathy level was determined to be significantly predictive of the mortality awareness dimensions. These findings indicate a desensitization effect of witnessing the death, contrary to that predicted by the terror management theory.