Ethical attitude towards patients, its dimensions and associated factors in nurses working in Saudi Arabia
Background: Ethical attitude comprises of altruism, empathy, holistic approach and respect for autonomy. There are a few researches on the ethical attitude towards patient care, its' dimensions and their determinants in nurses.
Methods: A sample of nurses (n=376) selected by simple random process and working in three cities of Saudi Arabia participated in this cross-sectional study. The Scale of Attitude towards the Patient (SAtP), Likert scales for memory and attention complaints, and semi-structured questionnaire to record social, demographic and emotion related information were used.
Result: The mean of the SAtP total score and its dimensions, i.e., altruism, empathy, holistic approach and respect for autonomy were above their mid-values, implying good level ethical attitude towards patients. Attitudes towards patient (SAtP total score), and its dimensions score namely altruism, respect for autonomy, and empathy had a positive association with stress because of recent death, major accident or diagnosis with terminal disease of a family member or a close friend, and a recent report of marriage, and a negative association with memory related complaints. Holism was also positively associated with stress because of recent death, major accident or diagnosis with terminal disease of a family member or a close friend.
Conclusion: Nurses attitude towards patients, and its dimensions are increased by recent personal incidences of trauma, and change in marital status. Personal memory complaints negatively affect nurses' attitude towards patients, and its related aspects like altruism, empathy, and respect for patient autonomy.
Keywords: Empathy; Altruism; patient care; patient autonomy.