The present study investigated the effects of a hybrid online course on a group of Italian Master’s degree students involved in a European Erasmus+ project. The course was composed of nine modules about death education, palliative psychology and the use of creative arts therapies—such as psychodrama, intermodal psychodrama and photovoice—in the end-of-life-field. The project involved 64 students in the experimental group (who attended the course) and 56 students as the control group. Both groups completed an online questionnaire before and after the delivery of the course and 10 students from the experimental group participated in a focus group at the end of the course. The quantitative analysis revealed that the experimental group students showed lesser levels of perception of death as annihilation, fear of the death and death avoidance, while they increased their levels of death acceptance, creative self-efficacy and attitude toward the care of the dying. Qualitative analysis identified three main themes: the positive impact of the course on death education and end-of-life care; the role of art therapies on death and end-of-life care; and the unhelpful facets of the course. Overall, this intervention changed the perception and the feelings of the students regarding the themes of death and palliative psychology and increased their creative self-efficacy and their interest in working in an end-of-life field.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Erasmus Plus Program 2014–2020 of the European Union (National Agency: IT02-Agenzia Nazionale Erasmus+ -INDIRE). Specifically, the funding for this study comes from the Erasmus plus project: “Death Education for Palliative Psychology” (DE4PP), Grant Agreement No.: 2019-1-IT02-KA203-063243.
© 2023 by the authors.
- death education
- palliative psychology
- university students
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Psychology (all)
- Behavioral Neuroscience