Stress of conscience among staff caring for older persons in Finland.

Research paper by Reetta R Saarnio, Anneli A Sarvimäki, Helena H Laukkala, Arja A Isola

Indexed on: 03 Feb '12Published on: 03 Feb '12Published in: Nursing ethics


Caring for older persons is both rewarding and consuming. Work with older people in Finland has been shown to be more burdensome than in the other Nordic countries. The aim of this study was to try out a Finnish version of the Stress of Conscience Questionnaire (SCQ) and explore stress of conscience in staff caring for older persons in Finland. The data were collected from the nursing staff (n = 350) working with older people in health centre wards, municipal and private nursing homes, and municipal and private dementia care units in Finland. It emerged clearly from the results that Finnish nursing staff mostly felt that they did not have enough time to provide good care to patients, and this gave them a troubled conscience. They also felt that the demanding work taxed their energy, a consequence being that they could not give their own families and loved ones the attention they would have liked.