Ethical challenges in the neonatal intensive care units: perceptions of physicians and nurses; an Iranian experience

  • Maliheh Kadivar Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Children’s Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Ziba Mosayebi Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology- Children’s Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Fariba Asghari Associate Professor, Medical Ethics and History of Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Pari Zarrini Neonatologist, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology- Children’s Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Keywords: ethical issues, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), nursing ethics, hospital ethics committee

Abstract

The challenging nature of neonatal medicine today is intensified by modern advances in intensive care andtreatment of sicker neonates. These developments have caused numerous ethical issues and conflicts in ethicaldecision-making. The present study surveyed the challenges and dilemmas from the viewpoint of the neonatalintensive care personnel in the teaching hospitals of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) in the capital ofIran.In this comparative cross-sectional study conducted between March 2013 and February 2014, the physicians’ andnurses’ perceptions of the ethical issues in neonatal intensive care units were compared. The physicians andnurses of the study hospitals were requested to complete a 36-item questionnaire after initial accommodations.The study samples consisted of 284 physicians (36%) and nurses (64%). Content validity and internal consistencycalculations were used to examine the psychometric properties of the questionnaire. Data were analyzed byPearson's correlation, t-test, ANOVA, and linear regression using SPSS v. 22.Respecting patients’ rights and interactions with parents were perceived as the most challenging aspects ofneonatal care. There were significant differences between sexes in the domains of the perceived challenges.According to the linear regression model, the perceived score would be reduced 0.33 per each year on the job.The results of our study showed that the most challenging issues were related to patients’ rights, interactions withparents, communication and cooperation, and end of life considerations respectively. It can be concluded,therefore, that more attention should be paid to these issues in educational programs and ethics committees ofhospitals.
Published
2016-02-28
How to Cite
1.
Kadivar M, Mosayebi Z, Asghari F, Zarrini P. Ethical challenges in the neonatal intensive care units: perceptions of physicians and nurses; an Iranian experience. jmehm. 8.
Section
Original Article(s)