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J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs > Volume 26(2); 2017 > Article
Journal of Korean Academy of psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 2017;26(2):204-215.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12934/jkpmhn.2017.26.2.204    Published online August 2, 2017.
Moral Sensitivity, Empathy and Perceived Ethical Climate of Psychiatric Nurses Working in the National Mental Hospitals.
Hyekyung Jo, Sunah Kim
1National Center for Mental Health · Graduate School, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
2College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. PSY0962@yuhs.ac
The purpose of this study was to identify the relationships between Moral Sensitivity, Empathy and Perceived Ethical Climate for nurses working in national mental hospitals and to provide basic data for the development of interventions that enhance Moral Sensitivity and help psychiatric hospital nurses in Ethical Decision-making. METHODS: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with 182 psychiatric nurses working in the national mental hospitals. Data were collected through self-report questionnaires which included the Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire (MSQ), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and Hospital Ethical Climate Survey (HECS). RESULTS: The mean score for MSQ was 5.19, for IRI, 2.49, and for HECS, 3.73. There was a significant positive correlation between moral sensitivity and empathy (r=.24, p=.001), between moral sensitivity and perceived ethical climate (r=.17, p= .025) and between empathy and perceived ethical climate (r=.17, p=.025). CONCLUSION: Findings indicate that moral sensitivity can be enhanced by improving empathy, a personal factor, and ethical climate, an organization factor. Further identification of the relationship between moral sensitivity and personal and organizational factors will be useful in the development of interventions to enhance moral sensitivity of nurses working in psychiatric wards.
Key Words: Moral sensitivity; Empathy; Ethical climate; Psychiatric nurses


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