University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Development and validation of a questionnaire to measure moral distress in community pharmacists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Early online date22 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


Background Pharmacists work within a highly-regulated occupational sphere, and are bound by strict legal frameworks and codes of professional conduct. This regulatory environment creates the potential for moral distress to occur due to the limitations it places on acting in congruence with moral judgements. Very little research regarding this phenomenon has been undertaken in pharmacy: thus, prominent research gaps have arisen for the development of a robust tool to measure and quantify moral distress experienced in the profession. Objective The aim of this study was to develop an instrument to measure moral distress in community pharmacists. Setting Community pharmacies in the United Kingdom. Method This study adopted a three-phase exploratory sequential mixed-method design. Three semi-structured focus groups were then conducted to allow pharmacists to identify and explore scenarios that cause moral distress. Each of the identified scenarios were developed into a statement, which was paired with twin seven-point Likert scales to measure the frequency and intensity of the distress, respectively. Content validity, reliability, and construct validity were all tested, and the questionnaire was refined. Main outcome measure The successful development of the valid instrument for use in the United Kingdom. Results This research has led to the development of a valid and reliable instrument to measure moral distress in community pharmacists in the UK. The questionnaire has already been distributed to a large sample of community pharmacists. Conclusion Results from this distribution will be used to inform the formulation of coping strategies for dealing with moral distress.


The Author(s) 2016. . This article is published with open access at This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Jayne L. Astbury, and Cathal T. Gallagher, 'Development and validation of a questionnaire to measure moral distress in community pharmacists', International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy (2017) Vol 39(1): 156-164, first published online on 22 December 2016, the version of record is available on line via doi: 10.1007/s11096-016-0413-3 Funding for this work was provided by Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK).

ID: 10850518