Moral Sensitivity and Delivering Bad News Skills: A Study on Critical Care Unit Nurses
Background And Aim
Delivering bad news to the patient and his/her family can pose moral challenge s to the nurses. This study, therefore, aimed to determine the relationship between moral sensitivity of the nurses working in critical care units and their skills of delivering bad news.
Materials And Methods
This cross - sectional study was conducted on 222 nurses working in critical care units (ICU , CCU, NICU and Dialysis) of the hospitals affiliated to the Medical University of South Khorasan province. The participants were selected by convenience sampling. Data were collected through a questionnaire which consisted of three parts: demographic info rmation; Spikes’ 20 - question questionnaire for the skills of delivering bad news; and a 25-question questionnaire regarding moral sensitivity. The collected data was analyzed by SPSS 16 software.
Ethical Considerations: T he participants were provided with the full information about the objectives of the study and how to answer the questionnaires. Verbal informed consent was ob tained.
Findings: There was a significant positive correlation between moral sensibility and the skill of delivering bad news (P=0.04 , r=0.5). The mean total of nurses’ skills of delivering bad news was 3.5 ± 0.8 out of 5. The mean for psychological dimension was (3.6 ± 0.8) and for environmental dimension was (3.41 ± 0.77). The mean total of nurses’ moral sensibility was 3 ± 0.6 out of 4. In vestigating the mean moral sensitivity based on separation of its components indicated the highest mean for the moral behavior 3.3±0.41) and the lowest mean for respect for patients (2.5±0.65). The relationship between moral sensitivity and the work exper ience and the age of the nurses was also significant (P
The findings indicate that nurses w ho were more sensitive had more skills when faced with such moral situations . It is recommended that hospital administrators, considering the nurses’ level of moral sensitivity, take some measures regarding teaching communication skills in such special cir cum stances as delivering bad news.
Journal of Medical Ethics, Volume:10 Issue:37, 2016
7 - 16  
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