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BackgroundHealthcare ethics is neglected in clinical practice in LMICs (Low and Middle Income Countries) such as Nepal. The main objective of this study was to assess the current status of knowledge, attitude and practice of healthcare ethics among resident doctors and ward nurses in a tertiary teaching hospital in Nepal.MethodsThis was a cross sectional study conducted among resident doctors (n = 118) and ward nurses (n = 86) in the largest tertiary care teaching hospital of Nepal during January- February 2016 with a self-administered questionnaire. A Cramer's V value was assessed to ascertain the strength of the differences in the variables between doctors and nurses. Association of variables were determined by Chi square and statistical significance was considered if p value was less than 0.05.ResultsOur study demonstrated that a significant proportion of the doctors and nurses were unaware of major documents of healthcare ethics: Hippocratic Oath (33 % of doctors and 51 % of nurses were unaware), Nuremberg code (90 % of both groups were unaware) and Helsinki Declaration (85 % of doctors and 88 % of nurses were unaware). A high percentage of respondents said that their major source of information on healthcare ethics were lectures (67.5 % doctors versus 56.6 % nurses), books (62.4 % doctors versus 89.2 % nurses), and journals (59 % doctors versus 89.2 % nurses). Attitude of doctors and nurses were significantly different (p ConclusionsSignificant proportion of doctors and nurses were unaware of three major documents on healthcare ethics which are the core principles in clinical practice. Provided that a high percentage of respondents had motivation for learning medical ethics and asked for inclusion of medical ethics in the curriculum, it is imperative to avail information on medical ethics through subscription of journals and books on ethics in medical libraries in addition to lectures and training at workplace on medical ethics which can significantly improve the current paucity of knowledge on medical ethics.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12910-016-0154-9

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC medical ethics

Publication Date

08/11/2016

Volume

17

Addresses

Institute of Medicine, Maharajgunj Medical Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. samajadhikari@gmail.com.

Keywords

Humans, Cross-Sectional Studies, Attitude of Health Personnel, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Developing Countries, Professional Competence, Helsinki Declaration, Hippocratic Oath, Ethics, Medical, Ethics, Nursing, Adult, Nurses, Personnel, Hospital, Physicians, Hospitals, Teaching, Health Resources, Nepal, Female, Male, Young Adult, Surveys and Questionnaires