Experiencing Moral Distress in Mental Health Nursing in Thailand


  • Ratchaneekorn UPASEN Faculty of Nursing, Chulalongkorn University, Borommaratchachonnanisrisataphat Building, the 11th floor, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
  • Weeraphol SAENGPANYA Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai road, Pramingkwaun Building, the 7th floor, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand




Mental health nurses, Mental health nursing, Moral distress, Narrative study


Mental health nurses have to confront distressing situations in caring for patients and families, in which several predicaments can lead to moral distress. This study explored moral distress experienced by mental health nurses. A qualitative narrative inquiry was used to gain a better understanding of moral distress Together with purposive sampling and snowball methods. The data were collected from 41 mental health nurses who met the inclusion criteria through in-depth interviews and then, the data were analyzed by using content analysis. This narrative study revealed that experiences from keeping the patient safe is a significant core theme among mental health nurses, involving five themes: (1) frustration in giving best work performance, (2) concerning the patient safe, (3) being stressed at work, (4) experiencing self-condemnation, and (5) sleeping difficulty. Support needed to face moral distress was also presented in this study. The stories of moral distress from this study may contribute to the understanding of health professionals concerning how it occurs and what attributes are involved. Situations leading to moral distress and support needed can shed light on the development of policy that can prevent and help relieve moral distress among mental health nurses for a greater quality of healthcare in Thailand.


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How to Cite

UPASEN, R. ., & SAENGPANYA, W. . (2021). Experiencing Moral Distress in Mental Health Nursing in Thailand. Walailak Journal of Science and Technology (WJST), 18(8), Article 9240 (11 pages). https://doi.org/10.48048/wjst.2021.9240