Fear of personal death among physicians

Yaira Hamama-Raz*, Zahava Solomon, Avrahm Ohry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Many studies have tried to explain why professionals experience difficulty when dealing with, and in treating efficiently, situations connected with death. We studied levels of fear of personal death among physicians and addressed two questions: Does exposure to death on professional and personal levels affect the level of fear of personal death which physicians experience? Is there a relationship between personality variables, represented by the repression-sensitization dimension, and level of fear of personal death? A sample of 233 physicians who specialized in oncology, internal medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and pediatrics was studied. Results revealed no differences in level of fear of personal death of physicians according to specialization, but those who had been exposed to death on the personal level feared less in relation to their own death. With respect to the personality variable, tendency to sensitization, it was found that those who were sensitized exhibited a higher level of fear of their own death compared to those who were repressive. Of the various demographic variables examined, it was found that those with many years of professional experience, who were relatively older, who were nonobservant religiously, and who were in good health had lower levels of personal fear of death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


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