INTRODUCTION: Death anxiety is often described as a feeling of panic and/or fear associated with thoughts of death and the afterlife. This impact of death anxiety is often triggered by severe disease or losing someone close. The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Disease has also affected patients mentally as well as physically. Our study aims to investigate the prevalence of death anxiety among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and the related factors of this anxiety during the current pandemic.
METHODS: We conducted a study among 283 adult participants to determine their anxiety and depression levels after being hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection by using the Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Templer Death Anxiety Scale (DAS).
RESULTS: Death anxiety was significantly higher in females and in patients with prior psychiatric disorders. A positive correlation was found between death anxiety and the risk of anxiety (p<0.001 and r=0.472) and depression (p<0.001 and r=0.344). The risk of anxiety and depression was found to increase with DAS scores. Death anxiety was found to be common and associated with three significant personality traits: conscientiousness, extraversion, and emotional stability.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 should be closely monitored regarding death anxiety, and awareness should be raised regarding the mental impacts of severe diseases on patients, and these impacts should be identified more often. A professional support system of a psychological call or online guidance should be constituted to identify the affected groups that are vulnerable to mental impacts.