Ethical Issues in Practice: A Survey of Public Health Nurses in Japan

Kiyomi Asahara, Maasa Kobayashi, Wakanako Ono, Junko Omori, Hiromi Todome, Emiko Konishi, Toshie Miyazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purposes of this study were to identify specific components and frequencies of ethical issues that public health nurses (PHNs) encountered in their practice, relationships between ethical issues and demographic data, and ethics education and workplace environment. Design and Sample: Cross-sectional survey for PHNs at local governmental agencies in Japan. Usable data were 3,409. Measures: Public health nurses completed the frequency of ethical issues, experience of ethics education, workplace environment, and demographics. Results: Item and exploratory factor analysis for the frequency of encountering ethical issues revealed: (1) discrepancy of intention between client and his/her family on treatment or care; (2) differences in views between PHNs and their organization's administrators regarding providing services; and (3) discrepancy of caretaking views between PHNs and various professionals. All factors were related to work experience and one factor was specifically related to the type of local government employing PHNs. Only 11.1% of PHNs received ethics education via continuing education programs. PHNs reported that programmed continuing education systems were not sufficiently available. Conclusions: Systematic continuing ethics education programs for PHNs need developing, tailored to the specific characteristics associated with PHNs' ethical concerns, such as nurses' working experience and the type of employing local government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-275
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May


  • Ethical issues
  • Public health nursing education
  • Work environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethical Issues in Practice: A Survey of Public Health Nurses in Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this