Assessing and addressing moral distress and ethical climate part II: Neonatal and pediatric perspectives

Jeanie Sauerland, Kathleen Marotta, Mary Anne Peinemann, Andrea Berndt, Catherine Robichaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Moral distress remains a pervasive and, at times, contested concept in nursing and other health care disciplines. Ethical climate, the conditions and practices in which ethical situations are identified, discussed, and decided, has been shown to exacerbate or ameliorate perceptions of moral distress. The purpose of this-mixed-methods study was to explore perceptions of moral distress, moral residue, and ethical climate among registered nurses working in an academic medical center. Two versions of the Moral Distress Scale in addition to the Hospital Ethical Climate Survey were used, and participants were invited to respond to 2 open-ended questions. Part I reported the findings among nurses working in adult acute and critical care units. Part II presents the results from nurses working in pediatric/neonatal units. Significant differences in findings between the 2 groups are discussed. Subsequent interventions developed are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalDimensions of Critical Care Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 12 2015


  • Acute care
  • Ethical climate
  • Interventions
  • Moral distress
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care


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