Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Susan C. McMillan, Ph.D., A.R.N.P.

Committee Member

Cindy Tofthagen, Ph.D., A.R.N.P

Committee Member

Linda L Steele, PhD, A.R.N.P, ANP-BC


anxiety, Cancer, depression, dying



Cancer is one of the main public health problems in the world. People diagnosed with cancer may become depressed and fearful of dying. This causes them to question treatments and sometimes avoid treatment altogether. Cancer may change the person's life and the lives of others around them. The current study focused on the psychosocial impact of impending death for cancer patients in Saudi Arabia. Currently, the relationship between the death anxiety and death depression in persons with cancer in Saudi Arabia is not yet clear. Added to that, little research has been conducted with Muslim cancer patients and their emotional needs.

This study explored the relationship between death anxiety and death depression among cancer patients in Saudi Arabia. The study sample consisted of 100 Saudi cancer patients, 50 male and 50 female, ranging in age from 18 to 85 with a mean age of 45.5. All participants completed a survey questionnaire that included three parts: the first part contained a demographic data form; the second part consisted of 20 statements to measure death anxiety using the Arabic Death Anxiety Scale; the third part was a 21-item, questionnaire designed to measure depression about impending death using the Death Depression scale-Revised Arabic version.

The results of this study revealed statistically significant correlation between death anxiety and death depression (r= .85, p

In addition, in Saudi Arabia health care providers target cancer symptoms and barely address the psychosocial issues. This may be due to a lack of communication between patients and health care providers. On the other hand, providers lack the time to spend with patients and have to treat to great number of patients.

Therefore, the results of this study suggest that the health care providers should spend some time with each patient discussing feelings with no boundaries, and try to understand the patients' feelings, and involve them in decision making

Death depression and death anxiety are universal feelings and should not be neglected. Consequently, this research may expand the knowledge base about death anxiety and death depression in Saudi Arabia that might lead to intervention that would help to improve patients' quality of life.