BACKGROUND: While ethics education in undergraduate nursing education can be developed using a variety of teaching and learning strategies, consensus on the content and teaching modules for these ethics courses has still not been established and the effect of ethics education has rarely been evaluated.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of debate-based ethics education and lecture-style ethics education on the moral sensitivity and moral judgment of nursing students..
METHODS: This was a pre-test and post-test quasi-experimental study with a control group. A total of 64 senior-year nursing students in Korea participated in the study (35 in the debate group and 29 in the lecture group). The debate-based ethics education lasted for eight weeks with one two-hour session per week. The debate-based ethics education consisted of 16 rounds of affirmative and negative sides. Each debate lasted a total of 40min and consisted of the introduction, cross-examination, rebuttal, conclusion, operation time, and wrap-up. The outcomes were measured by moral sensitivity and moral judgment questionnaires.
RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in idealistic moral judgment and realistic moral judgment in the debate group compared to the lecture group. However, no statistically significant difference was found for moral sensitivity between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: Based on this study's findings, it can be concluded that the debate-based ethics education for undergraduate nursing students is very effective in promoting moral judgment and the ability to take ethical decisions.
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