Moral distress and ethical climate in a Swedish nursing context: perceptions and instrument usability.

17:16 EDT 1st April 2015 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Moral distress and ethical climate in a Swedish nursing context: perceptions and instrument usability."

Aims and objectives.  The aim was fivefold: to describe Swedish nurses' perceptions of moral distress and determine whether there were differences in perceptions depending on demographic characteristics and to describe the usability of the Moral Distress Scale in a Swedish context. Further, the aim was to describe Swedish nurses' perceptions of ethical climate and the relationship between moral distress and ethical climate. Background.  Moral distress has been studied for more than two decades and the Moral Distress Scale is the most widely used instrument for measuring it. Moral distress has mainly been studied in relation to nurses' characteristics, but increasing attention has been paid to contextual aspects, such as ethical climate, that could be associated with moral distress. Design.  Descriptive, with a quantitative approach. Methods.  The study used two questionnaires: the Moral Distress Scale and the Hospital Ethical Climate Survey. The study was carried out at two hospitals in Sweden and included 249 nurses. Results.  Both level and frequency of moral distress were low, however level of moral distress was high in situations when the patient was not given safe and proper care. Generally, the frequency of moral distress was lower than the level. Of the situations on the Moral Distress Scale, 13 of the 32 were considered irrelevant by 10-50% of the participants. The more positive the ethical climate was perceived to be, the less frequently morally distressing situations were reported. Conclusions.  Since a positive ethical climate was associated with less frequent occurrences of moral distress, it should be investigated what contributes to a positive ethical climate. To be used in a Swedish context, the Moral Distress Scale needs further revision. Relevance to clinical practice.  Open dialogues at wards are encouraged regarding what practices contribute to a positive ethical climate.


Authors: Marit Silén, MSc, RN, Doctoral Student, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping; Mia Svantesson, PhD, RN, Research Supervisor and RN at Örebro University Hospital and Karlskoga Community Hospital, Örebro County; Sofia Kjellström, PhD, Assistan

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of clinical nursing
ISSN: 1365-2702


PubMed Articles [9683 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Ethics rounds: An appreciated form of ethics support.

Ethics rounds are one way to support healthcare personnel in handling ethically difficult situations. A previous study in the present project showed that ethics rounds did not result in significant ch...

A Qualitative Study Exploring Moral Distress in the ICU Team: The Importance of Unit Functionality and Intrateam Dynamics.

Our study objectives were to determine the key sources of moral distress in diverse critical care professionals and how they manage it in the context of team-based models.

Moral Distress in Nursing.

Coping with this rising concern in health care delivery systems.

Dealing with moral distress.

Nurse Moral Distress and Cancer Pain Management: An Ethnography of Oncology Nurses in India.

The majority of cancer patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) present with late-stage, incurable disease, and basic tools to alleviate patient suffering-such as morphine-are often absent...

Clinical Trials [899 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Genetic Counselors' Experiences of Moral Value Conflicts With Clients

This study will examine the experience of moral value conflicts among genetic counselors. Previous research has shown that value conflicts do exist among genetic counselors, but little is ...

The Effect on Function of Increasing Activity for Nursing Home Residents

As designs of existing outcome studies are disparate and do not always relate well to a Swedish context, the need for further studies is obvious. Also, an empirical theory drawn from the b...

Supported Employment in a Swedish Context

This project aims at generating evidence of a work-rehabilitation strategy that benefits the people with severe mental illness (SMI) who want to work, increase their sense of well-being an...

Climate Influence on Physiotherapy in Multiple Sclerosis

The aim of the study was to compare the effect of inpatient physiotherapy in a warm climate versus physiotherapy in a colder climate in multiple sclerosis (MS), in both short- and long ter...

Financial Distress in Patients With Advanced Cancer

Advanced cancer has an adverse effect in virtually all dimensions of patients' lives (physical, psychosocial, spiritual, familial, role function). One of the less frequently explored effec...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The use of systematic methods of ethical examination, such as CASUISTRY or ETHICAL THEORY, in reasoning about moral problems.

Research concerned with establishing costs of nursing care, examining the relationships between nursing services and quality patient care, and viewing problems of nursing service delivery within the broader context of policy analysis and delivery of health services (from a national study, presented at the 1985 Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing (CGEAN) meeting).

The application of NURSING knowledge to questions of law. It is a specialty of nursing practice involving victims of crime which includes not only attending to the physical and emotional distress of victims, but also the identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence for law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The moral and ethical obligations or responsibilities of institutions.

A school of thought and set of moral, ethical, and political teachings usually considered to be founded by Confucius in 6th-5th century B.C. China. (from Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 1995)

Search BioPortfolio:

Searches Linking to this Article