Responses and Results to Ethical Problems by Psychiatric Nurses in Japan

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The aim of this study was to investigate the responses of Japanese psychiatric nurses to ethical problems, and the results of those issues. The participants were 130 nurses who worked in psychiatry wards in a hospital. The nurses answered the question “how did you respond when you faced an ethical problem and what results did you get?” in free description. Seven categories were selected qualitatively from their responses: “Lack of action and no change,” “Experiencing problems and feeling gloomy,” “Pointing out misconduct and being hurt,” “Consultation among staff and resolution or not,” “Consultation with physicians and getting positive or negative responses,” and “Searching for and providing evidence-based care,” and “Thinking for themselves.” The facts that some nurses do not cope with ethical problems and some face moral distress without knowing what to do suggest that “improvement of moral efficacy to cope with ethical problems”, “proposing resolution methods”, and “organizational ethics support” may be useful.

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