A study of the ethical decision making ability of the hospitalized individual




Sigman, Paula

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This study entitled "A Study of the Ethical Decision Making Ability of the Hospitalized Patient" was a report of the differences between the ethical decision making capabilities of 52 hospitalized and 52 non-hospitalized adults. The null hypothesis was tested and rejected: There is no difference between the ethical decision making of the hospitalized and the non-hospitalized individual. Results indicated that because of the "treatment" given (hospitalization) there is a high probability that ethical decision making not only differs but drastically drops to a previous level given hospitalization of a previously non-hospitalized individual. Subsequently, the alternative hypothesis was accepted: There is a difference in the ethical decision making of the hospitalized and non-hospitalized individual.

Further analysis revealed the impact of various biographical/demographical data on ethical decision making. Hospitalization status, socioeconomic level, education, race and employment status were revealed to be significant predictors or determinants of Defining Issues Test scores.

The report concludes with the implications of the study both in terms of the theoretical framework and for nursing practice, and recommendations for further research



Ethical decision, Patient decision, Non-hospitalized decision