Frequency, Severity, Rate, and Causes of Moral Distress among Nursing Students: A Cross-Sectional Study
- Author: Mr. Gebremedihn Mekonen Worku
One of the most important psychosocial issues related to the nursing profession is moral distress (MD), which has devastating effects on student performance as well as patient care. The current study was conducted to determine the frequency, severity, rate, and causes of MD in nursing students. Methods. During this cross-sectional study, 86 samples were last year undergraduate nursing students of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, who were entered into the study by the census method. Data gathering instruments were personal information form, Moral Distress Scale-revised (MDS-r), and Moral Distress Thermometer (MDT). Results. The mean frequency, severity, and rate of MD, according to the MDS-r questionnaire, were 1.3 ± 0.7 out of 4, 1.8 ± 0.8 out of 4, and 3.3 ± 2.3 out of 16, respectively. The average MDT score was 2.6 ± 2.5 out of 10. The most common causes of MD were working in unsafe conditions (6.8 ± 6.0), observing impaired patients health servicing (5.4 ± 5.6), and the low quality of patient care (5.1 ± 4.6). There was a statistically significant relationship between the gender, work experience, and participation in the professional ethics workshop variables and mean MDS-total and MDT. Conclusion. The rate and mean severity of MD were reported at a moderate level. Also, the MDT average was reported at a mild to an uncomfortable level, and the overall MD was equal to moderate. Therefore, student administrators should take steps to eliminate or reduce the causes of MD. In this regard, the need for teaching preventive methods against MD to nursing students before their clinical courses seems crucial. Also, students with MD must be referred to the psychiatric/psychologist.