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Moral Distress and Its Associated Factors Among Nurses in Northwest Amhara Regional State Referral Hospitals, Northwest Ethiopia

Authors Berhie AY, Tezera ZB, Azagew AW

Received 12 October 2019

Accepted for publication 11 February 2020

Published 19 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 161—167

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S234446

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Alemshet Yirga Berhie,1 Zewdu Baye Tezera,2 Abere Woretaw Azagew3

1Department of Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Comprehensive Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 3Department of Medical Nursing, School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Abere Woretaw Azagew Tel +251 91 8198921
Email wabere@ymail.com

Background: Moral distress is the cognitive-emotional dissonance that arises when one feels compelled to act against one’s moral requirements. The study aimed to assess the proportion of moral distress and associated factors among nurses working in Northwest Amhara Regional State referral hospitals in 2018.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among nurses working at Northwest Amhara regional state referral hospitals from April 1– 30/2018. A total of 423 study participants were enrolled in the study. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. A pretested self-administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Moral Distress Scale-Revised (MDS-R) was used to assess the proportion of moral distress. Epi info version 7 for data entry and SPSS version 22 for data analysis were used. A binary logistic model was computed. Variables having p-value < 0.5 with 95% CI were used to declare the presence of significant associations.
Results: A total of 423 study participants were enrolled in the study with a response rate of 97.4%. The mean (SD) age of the respondents was 30.62 ± 5.7 years. The majority of nurses 350 (85%) were degree and above holders in nursing. The proportion of moral distress among nurses was found to be 83.7%. Work experience 11– 20 years [adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2, 95% CI: 1.01, 3.34], perceived poor team communication [AOR=4.5, 95% CI: 1.78, 11.62], perceived powerlessness in decision making [AOR=3.3, 95% CI: 1.38, 7.87], inadequate staffing [AOR=2.96, 95% CI: 1.26, 6.97], and inappropriate provision of care [AOR=4.12, 95% CI: 1.55, 10.9] were significantly associated with moral distress.
Conclusion: Nurses frequently experienced moral distress in clinical settings. Perceived poor communication, perceived powerlessness in decision making, inadequate staffing, and inappropriate provision care were the factors associated with moral distress.

Keywords: moral distress, nurse, prevalence, proportion

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