Critical care nurses' perception of moral distress in intensive care during the COVID-19 pandemic - A pilot study.

Andersson M, Nordin A, Engström Å

Intensive Crit Care Nurs - (-) 103279 [2022-06-06; online 2022-06-06]

To describe critical care nurses' perception of moral distress during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study involving a questionnaire was conducted. Participants responded to the Italian version of the Moral Distress Scale-Revised, which consists of 14 items divided in dimensions Futile care (three items), Ethical misconduct (five items), Deceptive communication (three items) and Poor teamwork (three items). For each item, participants were also invited to write about their experiences and participants' intention to leave a position now was measured by a dichotomous question. The data were analysed with descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis. The study followed the checklist (CHERRIES) for reporting results of internet surveys. Critical care nurses (n = 71) working in Swedish adult intensive care units. Critical care nurses experienced the intensity of moral distress as the highest when no one decided to withdraw ventilator support to a hopelessly ill person (Futile care), and when they had to assist another physician or nurse who provided incompetent care (Poor teamwork). Thirty-nine percent of critical care nurses were considering leaving their current position because of moral distress. During the COVID-19 pandemic, critical care nurses, due to their education and experience of intensive care nursing, assume tremendous responsibility for critically ill patients. Throughout, communication within the intensive care team seems to have a bearing on the degree of moral distress. Improvements in communication and teamwork are needed to reduce moral distress among critical care nurses.

Category: Public Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 35688753

DOI 10.1016/j.iccn.2022.103279

Crossref 10.1016/j.iccn.2022.103279

pii: S0964-3397(22)00082-9

Publications 9.5.0