Moral distress experienced by neonatal intensive and paediatric care nurses in northern Ghana: a qualitative study

Roger Newham, Alistair Hewison, Sue Neilson, Vivian Afoko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Moral distress has been studied widely in nursing but not in developing economies.

Aim: To investigate how moral distress is experienced by nurses working with children in intensive and non-intensive care units in Northern Ghana and to determine support measures offered by nurse managers.

Method: Qualitative descriptive method. Forty nurses and fourteen nurse managers working in four hospitals in Northern Ghana were interviewed. Thematic data analysis was carried out.

Results: Six themes were identified: nurses experience morally distressing situations due to a variety of causes; the impact of morally distressing situations on nurses; coping mechanisms of nurses who experienced morally distressing situations; recommendations made by the nurses to reduce the incidence of moral distress; inadequate support measures available to nurse managers and nurse managers experience moral distress too.

Conclusion: The causes of moral distress in developed and developing economies are similar. The frequency and intensity of moral distress is high in Northern Ghana. Consistent with other studies conducted in Africa nurses and nurse managers relied on their religious faith as a form of resilience. No support measures are available to nurse managers to support nurses who experience moral distress.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Not yet published as of 01/08/2022.

Keywords

  • Moral Distress
  • Africa
  • Ghana
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Managers
  • Moral Difficulties

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