Moral distress in nurses in oncology and haematology units

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Abstract

One of the difficulties nurses experience in clinical practice in relation to ethical issues in connection with young oncology patients is moral distress. In this descriptive correlational study, the Moral Distress Scale-Paediatric Version (MDS-PV) was translated from the original language and tested on a conventional sample of nurses working in paediatric oncology and haematology wards, in six north paediatric hospitals of Italy. 13.7% of the total respondents claimed that they had changed unit or hospital due to moral distress. The items with the highest mean intensity in the sample were almost all connected with medical and nursing competence and have considerably higher values than frequency. The instrument was found to be reliable. The results confirmed the validity of the MDS-PV (Cronbach's alpha = 0.959). This study represents the first small-scale attempt to validate MDS-PV for use in paediatric oncology-ematology nurses in Italy.

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