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The reception and implementation of ethical guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences in medical and nursing practice


Pfister, E; Biller-Andorno, N (2010). The reception and implementation of ethical guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences in medical and nursing practice. Swiss Medical Weekly, 140(11-12):160-167.

Abstract

Questions under study: We conducted a survey
among Swiss health care professionals on the
reception and implementation of a number of
selected ethical guidelines of the Swiss Academy
of Medical Sciences (SAMS). The following
guidelines were chosen for evaluation: “Care of
patients in the end of life”, “Palliative care”, “Borderline
questions in intensive-care medicine” and
“The determination of death in the context of organ
transplantation”.
Methods: Anonymous questionnaires were sent
to 1933 physicians (general practitioners and internists)
and nurses, randomly chosen from address
lists of the relevant professional associations.
We conducted a statistical analysis using SPSS
16.0.
Results: The response rate was 43.1%. 16.3%
of the responding physicians had never heard of
the guidelines “Care of patients in the end of life”,
30.5% had already heard of them, 34.1% knew
some of their contents and 19.1% were familiar
with the complete content of the guidelines.
60.5% of those physicians and 56.0% of those
nurses who had at least heard of these guidelines
utilised them in clinical practice. The guidelines
“Palliative care” and “Borderline questions in intensive-
care medicine” yielded similar results. By
contrast, only 0.5% of responding physicians reported
never having heard of the guidelines “The
determination of death in the context of organ
transplantation”, 2.9% had already heard of them,
24.4% knew some of their contents and the vast
majority of respondents (72.2%) considered themselves
to be completely familiar with the guidelines.
Conclusion: Knowledge of the evaluated guidelines
is fairly widespread among Swiss GPs,
internists and nurses. The guidelines are utilised
in clinical practice by the majority of those care
providers who are aware of their existence. The
guidelines “The determination of death in the
context of organ transplantation”, as a legally
binding document, are even better known and
routinely implemented in medical practice.

Questions under study: We conducted a survey
among Swiss health care professionals on the
reception and implementation of a number of
selected ethical guidelines of the Swiss Academy
of Medical Sciences (SAMS). The following
guidelines were chosen for evaluation: “Care of
patients in the end of life”, “Palliative care”, “Borderline
questions in intensive-care medicine” and
“The determination of death in the context of organ
transplantation”.
Methods: Anonymous questionnaires were sent
to 1933 physicians (general practitioners and internists)
and nurses, randomly chosen from address
lists of the relevant professional associations.
We conducted a statistical analysis using SPSS
16.0.
Results: The response rate was 43.1%. 16.3%
of the responding physicians had never heard of
the guidelines “Care of patients in the end of life”,
30.5% had already heard of them, 34.1% knew
some of their contents and 19.1% were familiar
with the complete content of the guidelines.
60.5% of those physicians and 56.0% of those
nurses who had at least heard of these guidelines
utilised them in clinical practice. The guidelines
“Palliative care” and “Borderline questions in intensive-
care medicine” yielded similar results. By
contrast, only 0.5% of responding physicians reported
never having heard of the guidelines “The
determination of death in the context of organ
transplantation”, 2.9% had already heard of them,
24.4% knew some of their contents and the vast
majority of respondents (72.2%) considered themselves
to be completely familiar with the guidelines.
Conclusion: Knowledge of the evaluated guidelines
is fairly widespread among Swiss GPs,
internists and nurses. The guidelines are utilised
in clinical practice by the majority of those care
providers who are aware of their existence. The
guidelines “The determination of death in the
context of organ transplantation”, as a legally
binding document, are even better known and
routinely implemented in medical practice.

Citations

2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:guidelines; medical ethics; ethical guidelines; evaluation; reception; implementation; Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Language:English
Date:March 2010
Deposited On:26 Mar 2010 13:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:04
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
Official URL:http://www.smw.ch/docs/PdfContent/smw-12969.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.smw.ch/dfe/index.html (Publisher)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-33163

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