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Title: Professional autonomy, collaboration with physicians, and moral distress among European intensive care nurses
Authors: Papathanassoglou, Elizabeth 
Kalafati, Maria 
Margarita Giannakopoulou 
Chrysoula Lemonidou 
John W. Albarran 
Karanikola, Maria 
Keywords: Nurses;Critical care nursing;Nurse and physician;Job satisfaction;Physicians;Stress (Psychology)
Category: Health Sciences
Field: Medical and Health Sciences
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Source: American journal of critical care, 2012, Volume 21, Issue 2, Pages 41-52
Abstract: Background: Discretionary autonomy is a key factor in enhanced patient outcomes and nurses’ work satisfaction. Among nurses, insufficient autonomy can result in moral distress. Objectives: To explore levels of autonomy among European critical care nurses and potential associations of autonomy with nurse-physician collaboration, moral distress, and nurses’ characteristics. Methods: Descriptive correlational study of a convenience sample of 255 delegates attending a major European critical care conference in 2009. Respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire with validated scales for nurses’ autonomy, nurse-physician collaboration, and moral distress. Results: The mean autonomy score (84.26; SD, 11.7; range, 18–108) and the mean composite (frequency and intensity) moral distress score (73.67; SD, 39.19; range, 0–336) were both moderate. The mean collaboration score was 47.85 (SD, 11.63; range, 7–70). Italian and Greek nurses reported significantly lower nurse-physician collaboration than did other nurses (P < .001). Greek and German nurses reported significantly higher moral distress (P < .001). Autonomy scores were associated with nurse-physician collaboration scores (P < .001) and with a higher frequency of moral distress (P = .04). Associations were noted between autonomy and work satisfaction (P = .001). Frequency of moral distress was associated inversely with collaboration (ρ = −0.339; P < .001) and autonomy (ρ = −0.210; P = .01) and positively with intention to quit (ρ = 0.257; P = .004). Conclusions: In this sample of European intensive care nurses, lower autonomy was associated with increased frequency and intensity of moral distress and lower levels of nurse-physician collaboration
ISSN: 1062-3264
DOI: 10.4037/ajcc2012205
Rights: © 2012 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Type: Article
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