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Attitudes of nursing degree students towards end of life processes. A cultural approach (Spain-Senegal).

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The concept of death is abstract, complex and has a number of meanings. Thus, its understanding and the approach taken to it depend, to a large extent, on aspects such as age, culture, training and religion. Nursing students have regular contact with the process of death and so it is of great interest to understand the attitudes they have towards it. As we live in a plural society it is even more interesting to not only understand the attitudes of Spanish students but, also, those of students coming from other countries. In the present article, we seek to identify and compare the attitudes held by nursing degree students at Hekima-Santé University (Senegal) and the University of Huelva (Spain) about end of life processes. The study identifies elements that condition attitudes and coping with death, whilst considering curricular differences with regards to specific end of life training. A descriptive, cross-sectional and multi-center study was conducted. The overall sample (N = 142) was divided into groups: Hekima-Santé University (Dakar, Senegal) and the University of Huelva (Huelva, Spain). The measurement instruments used were an ad-hoc questionnaire and Bugen´s Coping with Death Scale. Statistically significant differences (p = 0.005, 95%CI) were found in relation to overall Bugen Scale scores. We can confirm that specialized end of life training (University of Huelva, Spain) did not lead to better coping when compared with a population whose academic curriculum did not provide specific training and who engaged in more religious practices (Hekima-Santé University, Senegal). In cultures where religion not only influences the spiritual dimension of the individual, but acts in the ethical and moral system and consequently in the economic, educational and family sphere, the accompaniment at the end of life transcends the formative plane. Considering the plural society in which we live, the training that integrates the Degree in Nursing with regard to the care of the final process, must be multidimensional in which spirituality and faith are integrated, working emotional and attentional skills, as well as cultural competence strategies in this process.
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