Moral distress in nursing: contributing factors, outcomes and interventions

Nursing Ethics 20 (3):312-324 (2013)
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Moral distress has been widely reviewed across many care contexts and among a range of disciplines. Interest in this area has produced a plethora of studies, commentary and critique. An overview of the literature around moral distress reveals a commonality about factors contributing to moral distress, the attendant outcomes of this distress and a core set of interventions recommended to address these. Interventions at both personal and organizational levels have been proposed. The relevance of this overview resides in the implications moral distress has on the nurse and the nursing workforce: particularly in regard to quality of care, diminished workplace satisfaction and physical health of staff and increased problems with staff retention



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