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Teaching about near-death experiences: the effectiveness of using The Day I Died.

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 63(4):373 (2011) PMID 22010374

In this article, we reviewed results of research on near-death experiences (NDEs) over the past 3 decades and examined the effect of viewing the hour-long 2002 BBC documentary The Day I Died: The Mind, the Brain, and Near-Death Experiences on accurate knowledge about near-death experiences among advanced undergraduates at a southwestern university. In a quasi-experimental research design, the experimental group completed a 20-item questionnaire before and after viewing the documentary (n = 66; 45 females, 21 males), and the waitlist control group completed the questionnaire as pre- and posttest before viewing the documentary (n = 39; 36 female, 3 male). The two groups' scores at pretest were not significantly different (p > .05). Group by occasion repeated measures ANOVA revealed the experimental group's posttest scores moved significantly in the direction of correctness with a large effect size (p < .001; eta2 = .56), whereas waitlist control group posttest scores remained similar to pretest scores. We discuss two exceptions to the effectiveness of the documentary and recommendations for educators using it as well as for future research.