ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Moral distress and compassion fatigue in nurses of neonatal intensive care unit
 
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1
Master Student in Neonatal Intensive Care, Student Research Committee, International Branch, ,School of Nursing Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
 
2
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran
 
3
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Nursing Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
 
4
Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, School of Nursing Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
 
5
Associate Professor, Department of Medical - Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing Midwifery, Medical Ethics and Law Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
 
 
Online publication date: 2018-07-15
 
 
Publication date: 2019-04-22
 
 
Electron J Gen Med 2019;16(2):em116
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Nurses working in neonatal intensive care units are increasingly faced with a moral distress due to nature of their profession. It is anticipated that this amount of moral distress can have a negative effect on their affection and compassion towards the patient. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between moral distress and compassion fatigue in NICU Nurses.

Method:
This descriptive correlational study was conducted with 172 nurses working in the neonatal intensive care unit in educational hospitals in 2016. Data were collected using demographic information form, Corley’s moral distress questionnaire, Figley’s compassion fatigue. Data were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistical tests.

Findings:
The mean score of moral distress in the range (0-5) in the repetition dimension was 0.62 ± 2.01 and in the dimension of intensity was 0.89 ± 3.11. The average of compassion fatigue in the range (0-6) was 0.50 ± 3.94, normal to high. In examining the dimensions of compassion fatigue, the highest score belonged to the degree of compassion satisfaction 0.82 ± 4.48 and then the exhaustion 0.53 ± 3.70 and post-traumatic stress 0.84 ± 3.63.

Conclusion:
The results of this study indicated that there was a significant positive correlation between the intensity of moral distress and compassion fatigue (P= 0.001 r= 0.436), but between the frequency of moral distress and compassion fatigue, there was no relationship (P= 0.142 r= 0.137). Significant correlation was found between age (r = 0.22), nursing experience (r = 0.24) and work experience in neonatal intensive care unit (r = 0.187) with compassion fatigue. The results of this study indicate that extreme moral distress can be related with compassion fatigue.

 
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