A pilot study examining moral distress in nurses working in one United States burn center Journal Article

Authors: Leggett, J. M.; Wasson, K; Sinacore, J. M.; Gamelli, R. L.
Article Title: A pilot study examining moral distress in nurses working in one United States burn center
Abstract: Moral distress is described as the painful feelings and psychological disequilibrium when a person believes she knows the morally right action to take and is unable to carry it out because of external or internal constraints. It has been studied in intensive care unit (ICU) nurses, but to the best of our knowledge not in burn ICU nurses. A pilot study was performed to gather initial data on moral distress among nurses treating burn victims. Findings from an intervention aimed at decreasing the level of moral distress in these nurses are reported. Nurses (n = 13) were recruited from one U.S. burn ICU and were randomized into two groups. A separate sample pretest post-test design was used. Group A completed the Moral Distress Scale-Revised (MDS-R) and Self-efficacy (SE) Scale before a 4-week educational intervention involving weekly 60-minute sessions, and Group B completed both scales afterward. Participants also completed written evaluations after each session. The MDS-R and SE Scale were readministered to both groups 6 weeks after the intervention was completed. Given the size and distribution of the sample, nonparametric data analyses were used. The MDS-R median score for Group B (92.0) was significantly different statistically from Group A (40.5) with P = .032 directly after the intervention was completed. No significant difference was found in the median SE scores between Group A (34.5) and Group B (34.0; P = .616). The median for Group B was 69 and Group A was 60.5 (P = .775). At the 6-week follow up, the difference between the two groups was no longer observed. Defining and discussing moral distress may have contributed to increased awareness and higher levels of moral distress in Group B directly postintervention. The changes in moral distress levels postintervention and at the 6-week follow up highlight the need to examine the intervention in a larger sample.
Journal Title: Journal of burn care research : official publication of the American Burn Association
Volume: 34
Issue: 5
ISSN: 1559-0488; 1559-047X
Publisher: Unknown  
Journal Place: United States
Date Published: 2013
Start Page: 521
End Page: 528
Language: eng
Notes: JID: 101262774; ppublish