00175 Moral distress

00175 Moral distress

Definition of the NANDA label

Response to the inability to carry out the chosen ethical / moral decisions / actions.

Response to the inability to carry out one’s chosen ethical or moral decision and/or action.

Defining characteristics

• Expresses anguish (eg, helplessness, guilt, frustration, anxiety, uncertainty, fear) at the difficulty of acting based on one’s own moral choice.

Related factors

• Conflict between those who must make the decision.
• Information to guide ethical decision-making is contradictory.
• Information to guide moral decision making is contradictory.
• Cultural conflicts.
• Decisions at the end of life.
• Loss of autonomy.
• Physical distance from the person making the decisions.
• Limitation of time for decision-making.
• Decisions about treatment.

At risk population

• Loss of autonomy
• Physical distance of decision-maker


• Quality of life.
• Control of depression.
• Emotional balance.
• Hope.
• Level of depression.
• Decision making.
• Privacy.
• Respect.
• Willingness to live.


• Enhancement of self-esteem.
• Emotional Support.
• Control of mood.
• Support in decision making.
• Give hope.
• Promotion of resistance.
• Facilitate grief.
• Clarification of values.
• Facilitate spiritual growth
• Presence.
• Help to control anger.
• Spiritual support.
• Increased coping.