Nursing Ethics

A latent profile analysis of nurses‘ moral sensitivity.

The three-dimensional model of nurses‘ moral sensitivity has typically been studied using a variable-centered rather than a person-centered approach, preventing a more complete understanding of how these forms of moral sensitivity are expressed as a whole. Latent profile analysis is a person-centered approach that classifies individuals from a heterogeneous population into homogeneous subgroups, helping identify how different sub-populations of nurses use distinct combinations of different moral sensitivities to affect their service behaviors.

Latent profile analysis was used to identify three distinct profiles of nurses‘ moral sensitivity. Associations of the profiles with service behaviors were then examined.

Five hundred twenty-five nurses from three tertiary hospitals in China were investigated with Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire and Nurses‘ Service Behavior Scale. Latent profile analysis was used to analyze the data.

Approval was obtained from the Ethics committee for biomedical research of Medical College, the Hebei University of Engineering.

A three-profile moral sensitivity model provided the best fit to the data. The resulting profiles were low moral sensitivity, moderate moral sensitivity, and high moral sensitivity. There were significant differences in service behaviors among different profiles of moral sensitivity.

The results provide a new and expanded view of nurses‘ moral sensitivity, which may be used to monitor nurses‘ service behaviors comprehensively and to evaluate nursing ethics management strategies.

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