International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

The Effect of Insight Based Death Meditation on Death Anxiety and Qualify of Life

Oksoon Park, RN, PhD

Department of Nursing, Seoul Women’s College of Nursing

Young-Ki Lee

Department of Public Health, Dankook University

Younglee Kim, RN, PHN, PhD

California State University

Marilyn Smith-Stoner, RN-BC, PhD

Department of Nursing, California State University


This study aims to confirm the effect of Insight Based Death Meditation (IBDM) from Vipassanā and Zen Buddhist traditions on death anxiety and quality of life (QOL). For the study, a quasi-experimental research design including pretest and posttest with a control (n=30) and experimental group (n=30) was utilized. Data was collected from Korean adults between 20-59 years of age. A two-tailed t-test was used for the score differences of death anxiety and QOL between the experimental and the control groups. The score difference before and after IBDM intervention was statistically significant in the experimental group (t=2.93, p=.005). The IBDM significantly improved level of death anxiety in the experimental group (t=2.93, p=.005). Among six subcategories of QOL, economic state (p=.001), self-esteem (p=.01), physical state (p=.01), neighbor state (p=.001), and family relationship (p=.001) showed the significant results. Therefore, IBDM is an effective method of decreasing the level of death anxiety and increasing QOL among Korean adults.

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