Moving From Moral Distress to Moral Resilience Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Keywords:moral distress, moral resilience, acceptance and commitment therapy, career engagement, healthcare
Moral distress (MD) is a problematic experience for healthcare workers, with career engagement implications including burnout, job turnover, and career turnover. Instances of MD have been increasing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, threatening greater problems for the healthcare system. Although a range of interventions have been explored, no evidence-based treatment has been identified. Because of how embedded ethical decision-making is in the healthcare field, it is unlikely that MD will be eradicated; however, it is suggested that MD can be learned from and transformed into moral resilience. Evidence indicates that healthcare workers could benefit from mindfulness-based and emotion regulation skills, alongside values-based and action strategies, to support the development of moral resilience. This article proposes the applicability of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and its six core skills—acceptance, cognitive defusion, mindfulness, self-as-context, values, and commitment—to the work of career practitioners as a means of developing moral resilience skills among healthcare workers and supporting career sustainability.
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