Life satisfaction, life review, and near-death experiences in the elderly

J Holist Nurs. 1993 Dec;11(4):368-82. doi: 10.1177/089801019301100406.


When 145 senior citizens living independently in the community were surveyed for incidence of near-death experiences (NDEs), 46 of the seniors believed they had had a "close call" with death. Twelve of those reported that they had had an unusual experience during their close call and were subsequently interviewed. Their stories were evaluated using research criteria to document sufficient number of characteristics of an NDE for inclusion in research data and if that set of characteristics of the NDE included a life review component. They were also compared to a non-NDE group on the Life Satisfaction Index, to determine if life review in the context of an NDE helped older people feel more satisfied with life. There was no correlation, because surprisingly, although older people do have NDEs at least as often as other groups, the life review does not seem to be a part of it. So the reasons for scores on the LSI-A are not attributable to the life review. Reasons for this finding are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Consciousness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires