Psychiatry services and moral distress

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Kovanci M. S., ATLI ÖZBAŞ A.

KLINIK PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-TURKISH JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY, vol.22, no.3, pp.355-363, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier


It is known that ethical issues frequently become the main topic of conversation in psychiatry services. Healthcare professionals, who face ethical problems, seek to overcome them via laws, regulations and institutional legislations. However, these systems are not always influential in solving the problems and moral integrity of the individuals are negatively affected. Moral distress was originally defined as occurring when a healthcare personnel knows the right thing to do, but institutional constraints make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action and it is common event in psychiatric field. Moral distress is affected by external (institutional), clinical and individual factors depending on the characteristics of healthcare service system, healthcare personnel and service receiver group. Furthermore, moral distress negatively affects the health, care quality of the healthcare personnel and patient safety. This review has been prepared with a view to drawing attention to the concept of moral distress, which has significant effects on the health of healthcare personnel and service quality, analyzing it specifically in psychiatry field.