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Attitudes towards morphine use among nurses and physicians working in French-speaking Switzerland

Authors Ferreira M, Verloo H, Vieira MMS, Marques-Vidal P

Received 27 May 2013

Accepted for publication 25 June 2013

Published 30 October 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 141—153


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Maria Ferreira,1 Henk Verloo,2 Margarida Maria S Vieira,3 Pedro Marques-Vidal4

1Sion Hospital, Sion, Switzerland; 2Haute École de Santé La Source, Lausanne, Switzerland; 3Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal; 4Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract: There is little information regarding risk perceptions and attitudes towards morphine use in Switzerland. Thus, we aimed at assessing such attitudes in a sample of health professionals drawn from five nonuniversity hospitals in the French-speaking canton of Valais, Switzerland. The sample included 431 nurses and 40 physicians (age range: 20–63 years), and risk perceptions and attitudes towards morphine use were assessed using a validated questionnaire. More than half of the participants showed a negative attitude regarding most adverse events related to morphine. In bivariate analyses, participants working in geriatrics showed a more negative attitude towards use of morphine than did participants working in medicine and surgery. Compared with Swiss participants, non-Swiss participants also showed a more negative attitude regarding use of morphine. Conversely, no differences were found between the sexes, professions (nurses versus physicians), years of experience (≤14 years versus >14 years), or religions (Catholic versus other/no religion). These findings were further confirmed by multivariate adjustment. Our results indicate that attitudes regarding morphine use are mainly driven by its potential adverse effects and vary according to specialty and nationality. Educational measures directed at health professionals working in geriatrics or coming from abroad might reduce the high morphinophobia levels observed in these groups.

Keywords: morphinophobia, cross-sectional study, nurses, physicians, Switzerland

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