The Effectiveness of Optimist Memory Telling on Death Anxiety and the Sense of Aging in Elderly

Document Type : Original Article


1 Razi University of Kermanshah

2 University professor



Introduction: The aging phenomenon is caused by the natural time course leading to physiological, psychological and social changes, and is usually associated with death anxiety and sense of aging. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of optimist memory telling on death anxiety and sense of aging in elderly people.
Methods: This study was a semi-experimental research through pre-post-test with a control group. The statistical population included all the elderly residents of nursing homes in Kermanshah during 2017, among which 40 people were randomly selected and were assigned to two groups of experimental and control (each group of 20). The experimental group participated in 8 sessions of optimist memory telling treatment, each lasting for 60 min. Data were analyzed using SPSS 21, covariance analysis method, and T-test.
Results: The results indicated that there was a significant difference between the mean death anxiety and the sense of aging in the experimental and control groups. In other words, training optimist memory telling reduced the anxiety caused by death and the sense of aging in the elderly (P< 0.05).
Conclusion: Considering the effect of training optimist memory telling on decreasing death anxiety and the aging sensation of the elderly, it is recommended that therapists and psychologists use this method to reduce death anxiety and the sense of aging in the elderly.


1. Jin K, Simpkins JW, Ji X, Leis M, Stambler I. The critical need to
promote research of aging and aging-related diseases to improve
health and longevity of the elderly population. Aging and disease.
2. Julsing JE, Kromhout D, Geleijnse JM, Giltay EJ. Loneliness and
all-cause, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular mortality in older
men: the Zutphen Elderly Study. The American Journal of Geriatric
Psychiatry. 2016;24(6):475-84.
3. Dawane J, Pandit V, Rajopadhye B. Functional Assessment of
Elderly in Pune, India-Preliminary Study. J Gerontol Geriatr Res.
MOBASHER A. The comparison and relationship of social support
and stress with life satisfaction among the elderly of Khorramabad
city in 2013. 2015.
5. Cappeliez P, O'Rourke N. Profiles of reminiscence among older
adults: Perceived stress, life attitudes, and personality variables. The
International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
6. Brody CM, Semel VG. Strategies for therapy with the elderly:
Living with hope and meaning: Springer Publishing Company;
7. Lang A, Stein M. Anxiety disorders. How to recognize and treat the
medical symptoms of emotional illness. Geriatrics (Basel,
Switzerland). 2001;56(5):24-7, 31-4.
8. Stancliffe RJ, Wiese MY, Read S, Jeltes G, Clayton JM. Knowing,
planning for and fearing death: Do adults with intellectual disability
and disability staff differ? Research in developmental disabilities.
9. Fountoulakis KN, Siamouli M, Magiria S, Kaprinis G. Late-life
depression, religiosity, cerebrovascular disease, cognitive
impairment and attitudes towards death in the elderly: Interpreting
the data. Medical hypotheses. 2008;70(3):493-6.
10. Cicirelli VG. Fear of death in mid-old age. The Journals of
Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.
11. Saini P, Patidar AB, Kaur R, Kaur M, Kaur J. Death Anxiety and Its
Associated Factors among Elderly Population of Ludhiana City,
Punjab. Indian Journal of. 2016;30(1):101-10.
12. Kim S, Park KS. A meta analysis on variables related to death
anxiety of elderly in Korea. Korean Journal of Adult Nursing.
13. Wurm S, Tesch-Römer C, Tomasik MJ. Longitudinal findings on
aging-related cognitions, control beliefs, and health in later life. The
Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and
Social Sciences. 2007;62(3):P156-P64.
14. Steverink N, Westerhof GJ, Bode C, Dittmann-Kohli F. The
personal experience of aging, individual resources, and subjective
well-being. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological
Sciences and Social Sciences. 2001;56(6):P364-P73.
15. Levy BR, Myers LM. Preventive health behaviors influenced by
self-perceptions of aging. Preventive medicine. 2004;39(3):625-9.
16. Efklides A, Kalaitzidou M, Chankin G. Subjective quality of life in
old age in Greece: The effect of demographic factors, emotional
state and adaptation to aging. European Psychologist.
17. Hickey A, O’Hanlon A, McGee H. Quality of life in communitydwelling
older people in Ireland: Association with ageing
perceptions, physical health and psychological well-being. The Irish
Journal of Psychology. 2010;31(3-4):135-50.
18. Beyene Y, Becker G, Mayen N. Percetion of aging and sense of
well-being among Latino elderly. Journal of cross-cultural
Gerontology. 2002;17(2):155-72.
19. Gattuso S. Healthy and wise: Promoting mental health in Australian
rural elders. Journal of Mental Health and Aging. 2001;7(4):425-34.
20. Ory M, Hoffman MK, Hawkins M, Sanner B, Mockenhaupt R.
Challenging aging stereotypes: Strategies for creating a more active
society. American journal of preventive medicine. 2003;25(3):164-
21. Nilsson M, Sarvimäki A, Ekman SL. Feeling old: being in a phase
of transition in later life. Nursing Inquiry. 2000;7(1):41-9.
22. Shellman J, Ennis E, Bailey-Addison K. A contextual examination
of reminiscence functions in older African-Americans. Journal of
Aging Studies. 2011;25(4):348-54.
23. Hill A, Brettle A. The effectiveness of counselling with older
people: Results of a systematic review. Counselling and
Psychotherapy Research. 2005;5(4):265-72.
24. Korte J. The stories we live by: the adaptive role of reminiscence in
later life. 2012.
25. Serrano JP, Latorre JM, Gatz M, Montanes J. Life review therapy
using autobiographical retrieval practice for older adults with
depressive symptomatology. Psychology and aging.
26. Bohlmeijer ET, Westerhof GJ, Emmerik-de Jong M. The effects of
integrative reminiscence on meaning in life: Results of a quasiexperimental
study. Aging and Mental Health. 2008;12(5):639-46.
27. Shirmohammadi S, Amiri Z, Amiri H, Yazdanbakhsh K. The
Effectiveness of Cohesive Memory Remedies on Reducing Death
Anxiety in the Elderly Living in the Kermanshah Nursing Home.
Third National Conference on Psychology and Behavioral
Sciences2015 (In Persian).
28. Abdollahzadeh H, Khabbazi M. Effectiveness Of Integrative
Reminiscence On Health anxiety, Death Depression And Perceived
Stress In Elderly. Quarterly Journal of Health Psychology.
2017;6(22):101-14. (In Persian).
29. Templer DI. The construction and validation of a death anxiety
scale. The Journal of general psychology. 1970;82(2):165-77.
30. Jahangiri MM. Prediction of death anxiety, according to religious
orientation and loneliness in elderly in Arak city. Journal of
Gerontology. 2017;1(4):58-66.(In Persian).
31. Barker M, O'Hanlon A, McGee HM, Hickey A, Conroy RM. Crosssectional
validation of the Aging Perceptions Questionnaire: a
multidimensional instrument for assessing self-perceptions of aging.
BMC geriatrics. 2007;7(1):9.
Momeni and Rafie Delfan
75 Int J Behav Sci Vol.12, No.2, Summer 2018
32. Krasikian Mujambari A, Hagh Asgarbadi F, jomehri F.
Determination of psychometric properties of aging perception
questionnaire. Behavioral Sciences Research. 2012;15(2):142-
50.(In Persian).
33. Dehghan K, shariatmadar A, Kalantar hormozi A. Effectiveness of
life review therapy on death anxiety and life satisfaction of old
women of Tehran. Cultural Consultation and Psychotherapy.
2015;6(22):15-39.(In Persian).
34. Esmaili M. Study the effectiveness of life review therapy with
emphasis on Islamic ontology on decreasing the symptoms PTSD.
Cultural Consultation and Psychotherapy. 2010;1(2):1-20.(In
35. Watt LM, Cappeliez P. Integrative and instrumental reminiscence
therapies for depression in older adults: Intervention strategies and
treatment effectiveness. Aging & mental health. 2000;4(2):166-77.
36. Haight BK, Michel Y, Hendrix S. Life review: preventing despair in
newly relocated nursing home residents short-and long-term effects.
The International Journal of Aging and Human Development.
37. Hirsch CR, Mouratoglou VM. Life review of an older adult with
memory difficulties. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
38. Zauszniewski JA, Eggenschwiler K, Preechawong S, Chung C,
Airey TF, Wilke PA, et al. Focused reflection reminiscence group
for elders: Implementation and evaluation. Journal of Applied
Gerontology. 2004;23(4):429-42.
39. Sadegh Moghadam L, Foroughan M, Mohammadi F, Ahmadi F,
Farhadi A, Nazari S, et al. Aging Perception in Older Adults.
Salmand: Iranian Journal of Ageing. 2016;10(4):202-9.(In Persian).
40. Bergman YS, Bodner E, Cohen-Fridel S. Cross-cultural ageism:
Ageism and attitudes toward aging among Jews and Arabs in Israel.
International Psychogeriatrics. 2013;25(1):6-15.
41. Kruse A, Schmitt E. A multidimensional scale for the measurement
of agreement with age stereotypes and the salience of age in social
interaction. Ageing & Society. 2006;26(3):393-411.
42. Rubin DC, Berntsen D. People over forty feel 20% younger than
their age: Subjective age across the lifespan. Psychonomic bulletin
& review. 2006;13(5):776-80.
43. Wolf N. The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against
women: Random House; 2013.
44. Yun RJ, Lachman ME. Perceptions of aging in two cultures: Korean
and American views on old age. Journal of cross-cultural
gerontology. 2006;21(1-2):55-70.
45. Sheikholeslami F, Reza Masouleh S, Khodadadi N, Yazdani MA.
Loneliness and general health of elderly. Journal of Holistic nursing
and midwifery. 2011;21(2):28-34.