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Knowledge of, and attitudes toward, codes of ethics and associated factors among medical doctors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Authors Abeje Tiruneh M, Teshome Ayele B, Michael Beyene KG

Received 2 January 2019

Accepted for publication 9 May 2019

Published 8 July 2019 Volume 2019:9 Pages 1—10

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/MB.S200096

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bethany Spielman


Mesafint Abeje Tiruneh,1 Birhanu Teshome Ayele,2 Kidanemariam G Michael Beyene3

1Health Inspectorate Directorate, Federal Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 2Depratment of Statistics, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 3Director General Office, Ethiopian Medicine and Healthcare Administration and Control Authority, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Background: Ethics are moral principles that attempt to determine what is morally right and wrong in human action. Professional ethics have gained significance and focus from time to time, due to increased public awareness and advancements in science and technology. Since there is limited information in Ethiopia, this study provides information about knowledge of, and attitudes toward, codes of ethics.
Objective: To assess knowledge of and attitudes toward codes of ethics and associated factors among medical doctors in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Methods: An institution-based cross sectional study was conducted among 490 medical doctors in Addis Ababa from May to June 2017. Multistage sampling was used and data collected using a pretested self-administered structured questionnaire. Binary logistic regression was used for data analysis.
Results: Our study showed that 371 (75.7%) medical doctors were knowledgeable. Sex (AOR 0.582, 95% CI 0.357–0.951), level of education (AOR 2.048, 95% CI 1.125–3.726), and attitudes (AOR 5.229, 95% CI 3.300–8.286) were significantly associated with knowledge of codes of ethics. Of the total study participants, 298 (60.8%) medical doctors had favorable attitudes toward codes of ethics. Level of education (AOR 1.321, 95% CI 1.014–3.144), work experience (AOR 1.343, 95% CI 1.051–3.091), and knowledge (AOR 5.208, 95% CI 3.286–8.252) were significantly associated with attitudes toward codes of ethics.
Conclusion: A majority of medical doctors were knowledgeable about codes of ethics. Sex, level of education, and attitudes toward codes of ethics were significantly associated with knowledge of codes of ethics. A significant proportion of medical doctors had unfavorable attitudes. Level of education, work experience, and knowledge of codes of ethics were significantly associated with attitudes toward codes of ethics. As such, it is important to raise awareness and if necessary change attitudes of medical doctors toward codes of ethics.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, code of ethics, medical doctors, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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