Relationships among moral distress, sense of coherence, and job satisfaction

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Abstract

Background:

Since moral distress affects psychological aspects of psychiatric nurses, it is an important theme. Previous studies showed relationships between moral distress and job satisfaction; however, there are few studies which investigate relationships between moral distress and other effective variables and then we highlighted relationships among these variables.

Objective:

This study aimed to (1) examine relationships among moral distress, sense of coherence, mental health, and job satisfaction and (2) clarify the most predictive variable to job satisfaction.

Research design:

This study is a cross-sectional study. Participants were 130 psychiatric nurses in a hospital in Japan. They completed the Moral Distress Scale for Psychiatric nurses (Unethical conduct, Low staffing, and Acquiescence to patients’ rights violations), the sense of coherence scale (Comprehensibility, Manageability, and Meaning), the General Health Questionnaire, and the Job Satisfaction scale.

Ethical consideration:

This study was approved by the ethical board of St Mary’s College. Nurses participated voluntarily and were anonymous.

Results:

Results showed that subscales of the Moral Distress Scale for Psychiatric nurses negatively correlated to the sense of coherence and the Job Satisfaction. A multiple regression analysis showed that “Acquiescence to patients’ rights violations” of the Moral Distress Scale for Psychiatric nurses and “Meaning” of the sense of coherence influenced the Job Satisfaction much more than other variables. These two variables were correlated to job satisfaction scale, and other variables without them did not significantly correlate to job satisfaction scale.

Discussion:

These results suggest that moral distress negatively related to sense of coherence and job satisfaction, a subscale of the Moral Distress Scale for Psychiatric nurses and that of the sense of coherence affected the job satisfaction the most.

Conclusion:

Decreasing of acquiescence to patients’ rights violations and finding meaning in nursing may improve job satisfaction.

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