CURA—An Ethics Support Instrument for Nurses in Palliative Care. Feasibility and First Perceived Outcomes

HEC Forum 35 (2):1-21 (2021)
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Evaluating the feasibility and first perceived outcomes of a newly developed clinical ethics support instrument called CURA. This instrument is tailored to the needs of nurses that provide palliative care and is intended to foster both moral competences and moral resilience. This study is a descriptive cross-sectional evaluation study. Respondents consisted of nurses and nurse assistants (n = 97) following a continuing education program (course participants) and colleagues of these course participants (n = 124). Two questionnaires with five-point Likert scales were used. The feasibility questionnaire was given to all respondents, the perceived outcomes questionnaire only to the course participants. Data collection took place over a period of six months. Respondents were predominantly positive on most items of the feasibility questionnaire. The steps of CURA are clearly described (84% of course participants agreed or strongly agreed, 94% of colleagues) and easy to apply (78–87%). The perceived outcomes showed that CURA helped respondents to reflect on moral challenges (71% (strongly) agreed), in perspective taking (67%), with being aware of moral challenges (63%) and in dealing with moral distress (54%). Respondents did experience organizational barriers: only half of the respondents (strongly) agreed that they could easily find time for using CURA. CURA is a feasible instrument for nurses and nurse assistants providing palliative care. However, reported difficulties in organizing and making time for reflections with CURA indicate organizational preconditions ought to be met in order to implement CURA in daily practice. Furthermore, these results indicate that CURA helps to build moral competences and fosters moral resilience.



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Guy Widdershoven
VU University Amsterdam