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Moral Distress among Disaster Responders: What is it?
Centre for Research on Healthcare in Disasters, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, National Center for Disaster Psychiatry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1317-2093
Stockholm Centre for Healthcare Ethics (CHE), Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Centre for Research on Healthcare in Disasters, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
2020 (English)In: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, ISSN 1049-023X, E-ISSN 1945-1938Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction:

Current research of moral distress is mainly derived from challenges within high-resource health care settings, and there is lack of clarity among the different definitions. Disaster responders are prone to a range of moral challenges during the work, which may give rise to moral distress. Further, organizations have considered increased drop-out rates and sick leaves among disaster responders as consequences of moral distress. Therefore, initiatives have been taken to address and understand the impacts of moral distress and its consequences for responders. Since there is unclarity among the different definitions, a first step is to understand the concept of moral distress and its interlinkages within the literature related to disaster responders.

Hypothesis/Problem:

To examine how disaster responders are affected by moral challenges, systematic knowledge is needed about the concepts related to moral distress. This paper aims to elucidate how the concept of moral distress in disaster response is defined and explained in the literature.

Methods:

The paper opted to systematically map the existing literature through the methods of a scoping review. The searches derived documents which were screened regarding specific inclusion criteria. The included 16 documents were analyzed and collated according to their definitions of moral distress or according to their descriptions of moral distress.

Results:

The paper provides clarity among the different concepts and definitions of moral distress within disaster response. Several concepts exist that describe the outcomes of morally challenging situations, centering on situations when individuals are prevented from acting in accordance with their moral values. Their specific differences suggest that to achieve greater clarity in future work, moral stress and moral distress should be distinguished.

Conclusion:

Based on the findings, a conceptual model of the development of moral distress was developed, which displays a manifestation of moral distress with the interplay between the responder and the context. The overview of the different concepts in this model can facilitate future research and be used to illuminate how the concepts are interrelated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-403432DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X20000096OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-403432DiVA, id: diva2:1389033
Available from: 2020-01-28 Created: 2020-01-28 Last updated: 2020-01-31Bibliographically approved

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