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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Bridging the Gap in Moral Suffering Research: A Hermeneutical Discourse Analysis of Moral Injury and Moral Distress Constructs
by Hebert, Jacques-Rene, Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2020, 89; 28088290
Abstract (Summary)

Psychic suffering as a result of moral transgression is a tale as old as human society. Moral injury research has focused primarily on military and first-responder populations, whereas moral distress research has focused on nurses and doctors in the healthcare field. However, the phenomenal and etiological core attributes of moral injury and moral distress are strikingly similar: intense psychological suffering, such as guilt, shame, anger, and social and spiritual alienation, as a result of something one did, something one failed to do, or something one witnessed that transgressed one’s moral expectations of oneself, others, or the natural world. However, these two realms of research have remained siloed, despite their axiomatic similarities. The researcher sought to unify these two disparate—but similar—concepts through thematic discourse analysis. As written language is the vehicle by which these concepts are conveyed among peers in the field, 10 of the most cited peer-reviewed journal articles detailing each concept are analyzed via MAXQDA qualitative data analysis software for keywords and key phrases, and thusly compared and contrasted. Similarities and differences are discussed. Results indicate the concepts can be synthesized as a continuum of moral suffering, with moral health on one end and moral injury on the other, with moral distress representing transient suffering that may be resolved or lead to further injury. Recommendations for research directions are provided.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Larson, Paul
Commitee: DuBose, Todd, Bair, John P.
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Moral distress, Moral injury, Moral suffering, Nurses, Soldiers, Veterans
Publication Number: 28088290
ISBN: 9798678121240
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