The development of a clinical policy ethics assessment tool
Introduction: Clinical policies control several aspects of clinical practice, including individual treatment and care, resource management and healthcare professionals’ etiquette. This article presents Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool, an ethical assessment tool for clinical policies that could be used not only by clinical ethics committees but also by policy committees or other relevant groups. Aim: The aim of this study was to find or create a tool to identify ethical issues and/or confirm ethical validity in nursing practice policies, protocols and guidelines. Methodology: The development of Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool involved first a literature review, followed by modification of the Research Protocol Ethics Assessment Tool, which was created to identify research protocols’ ethical issues, and finally, a trial of Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool to ensure its reliability and validity. Ethical consideration: The policies analysed trialling Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool were in the public domain and did not contain any confidential information. Despite that, Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool also had the approval of a research ethics committee. Results: Research Protocol Ethics Assessment Tool was chosen as the template for a Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool, to which several modifications were added to adapt it to work within a nursing practice context. Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool was tested twice, which resulted in a general test–retest reliability coefficient ¼ 0.86, r ¼ 0.84, a1 ¼ 0.817, a2 ¼ 0.824 and interclass correlation coefficient ¼ 0.874. Discussion: Contemporary nursing practice in a developed country is often ruled by clinical policies. The use of Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool could confirm the ethical validity of those clinical practice policies, impacting on nurses’ education, values and quality of care. Conclusion: Clinical Policy Ethics Assessment Tool has the potential to detect ethical issues and facilitate the correction and improvement of clinical policies and guidelines in a structured way. This is especially so as it has shown reliability in detecting issues in clinical policies involving human participants and in encouraging policymakers to consider common ethical dilemmas in nursing practice.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Garcia-Capilla, D.J., Rubio-Navarro, A., Torralba-Madrid, M.J. and Rutty, J. (2018) The development of a clinical policy ethics assessment tool. Nursing Ethics, 26 (7-8), pp. 2259-2277
ISSN : 0969-7330
Research Group : Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes