Ethical problems and moral sensitivity in physiotherapy A descriptive study

Nursing Ethics 20 (5):568-577 (2013)

Abstract
This study identified and described ethical problems encountered by physiotherapists in their practice and physiotherapists’ moral sensitivity in ethical situations. A questionnaire-based survey was constructed to identify ethical problems, and the Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire Revised version was used to measure moral sensitivity. Physiotherapists (n = 116) working in public health services responded to the questionnaire. Based on the results, most of the physiotherapists encounter ethical problems weekly. They concern mainly financial considerations, equality and justice, professionalism, unethical conduct of physiotherapists or other professions and patients’ self-determination. The dimension of moral strength was emphasised in physiotherapists’ self-evaluations of their moral sensitivity. As a conclusion, ethical problems do occur not only at individual level but also at organisational and society level. Physiotherapists seem to have moral strength for speaking on behalf of the patient. Scarce resources make them feel insufficient but much could still be done to provide quality care in co-operation with other health-care professionals
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DOI 10.1177/0969733012468462
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