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Health Professions Students' Attitudes Toward Death and Caring for Dying Patients

Prazak, Kristine A. MS, PA-C; Fazzari, Melissa PhD

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education:
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000090
Abstracts & Brief Reports
Author Information

Kristine A. Prazak, MS, PA-C, is an assistant professor of Physician Assistant Studies at the New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York.

Melissa Fazzari, PhD, is the director of the Department of Biostatistics at Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, New York.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Kristine A. Prazak, MS, PA-C, Physician Assistant Studies, New York Institute of Technology, Northern Blvd., P.O. Box 8000, Old Westbury, NY 11568. Telephone: (516) 686-4019; Email:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Purpose: To assess the attitudes of students pursuing health professions about death and caring for the terminally ill.

Methods: Students currently enrolled in a health profession academic program were invited to complete the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying Scale, Form B.

Results: Participants who had been exposed to material or had taken a previous course on death and dying obtained higher scores than participants who had no previous education. Similarly, participants with previous experience in caring for terminally ill patients had higher average scores than those with no experience.

Conclusions: Students in health profession programs would most likely benefit from an educational program focused on caring for terminally ill people and their families.

Copyright © 2016 Physician Assistant Education Association

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