Female patients report on health care staff's disobedience of ethical principles
2006 (English)In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, Vol. 85, no 7, 830-836 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background. Earlier studies have shown a high prevalence of abuse in health care (AHC). We hypothesized that patients might easily feel abused when staff do not follow prevailing ethical principles. Therefore we developed the Violations of Ethical Principles Questionnaire (ViolEP), with 30 examples of situations in health care where four ethical principles are disobeyed (autonomy, nonmaleficence, justice, and integrity). Respondents reported whether or not they had ever experienced each of the situations, and whether or not they had perceived that event as a violation. Research questions: 1. What proportion of female patients have ever experienced staff disobeying ethical principles in health care? 2. To what extent are such events perceived as violations? and 3. How well do perceived violations of ethical principles correspond to experiences of AHC? Method. Our sample was 661 consecutive female patients at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Linköping, Sweden. They completed ViolEP and NorVold Abuse Questionnaire (NorAQ) at home and returned them by post. Results. 20/661 (64%) women answered the ViolEP and 426/661 (64%) returned the NorAQ. The majority (73%) (306/420) had experienced staff disobeying ethical principles. More than every second woman had perceived those events as violations (68%) (209/306). The prevalence of AHC was 23%. ViolEP had good sensitivity but low specificity when we used AHC according to NorAQ as the "gold standard". Conclusion. The majority of the patients had experienced health care staff disobeying prevailing ethical principles. These events were not always perceived as violations. The reason for this discrepancy needs to be explored. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 85, no 7, 830-836 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35987DOI: 10.1080/00016340500442613Local ID: 29261OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-35987DiVA: diva2:256835