Older Adult's Death Acceptance: A Ground Theory Approach

Older Adult's Death Acceptance:A Ground Theory Approach
Minnie Besin Mamauag, DSN


The issue of death anxiety and fear of death has been a great concern of health care providers due to its emotional and behavioral outcomes among the recipients of care. Theoretical propositions and observed findings on death concept have not been thoroughly examined in nursing researches specifically those coming from the elderly’s point-of-view. This theory generation utilized the grounded theory methodology via inductive approach to theory development that would explain the death experience, consciousness and acceptance towards death in an individual’s lifetime. Data were gathered from the older population using purposive sampling. Interviews were semi-structured and based on the death perception and experiences of the older participants. Both memo writing and comparative analysis were used during the course of the study, aided by the method of open, axial and selective coding. Theoretical categories were generated to derive the following propositions: Overcoming death experiences results to death acceptance; death consciousness influence death acceptance; death acceptance lead to the process of death preparation; and spirituality is an essential element of death experience, death consciousness, death acceptance and death preparation. The theory generated is that death acceptance is an accumulation of death experiences and one’s spiritual beliefs which translate to death consciousness that results to the acceptance of one’s mortality gearing towards death preparation.

Key words Older Adults, Death Experiences, Acceptance, Grounded theory