Item Details

The Experience of Moral Distress in Psychiatric Nurses

Lambour, Stacey
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Lambour, Stacey
Barbero, Edie
Background: Moral distress has been studied in critical care nurses and has shown to have deleterious effects on nurses’ physical and psychological well-being. To date, little research has been conducted on the experience of moral distress in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses (PMHNs). Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the experience of moral distress in PMHNs. Method: The study utilized a descriptive cross-sectional electronic survey design to collect demographic data and responses to the Moral Distress Scale for Psychiatric Nurses (MDS-P) in a sample of PMHNs (n=28) drawn from a professional community psychiatric nursing organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Results: Moral distress scores for this sample were low to moderate with a mean score of 1.50 (SD=1.31). The lowest score mean score of 0.54 (SD=1.20) was reported for one question related to being honest with the patient. The highest mean score was 3.36 (SD =2.45) was reported for questions related to nurses being treated like a machine. A statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was found between those who had not considered leaving (total mean MDS-P score of 0.83) and those who left (total mean MDS-P score of 3.03). Conclusion: This study found low to moderate levels of moral distress in PMHNs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The results from this sample support other research findings indicating a relationship between moral distress and the intent to leave.
University of Virginia, School of Nursing, DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), 2016
Published Date
DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
Libra ETD Repository
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