Date of this Version


Document Type



This study explored the perceptions of ethics among long-term care employees (N275) in order to test two hypotheses. A cohort cross-sectional survey examined employees’ perceptions of an ethics environment, racial-ethnic, and position disparities (HO1; ANOVA), and, secondarily, ethics in relationship to select, research-grounded work features measured as manage disagreements, effectiveness, work satisfaction, and opinions of care, the latter including intention to remain (HO2; Pearson Correlations). Established questionnaires with robust psychometrics were employed. Response rate was 51%. Non-significant differences between sample and population on key variables supported extrapolation of results. Statistically significant differences between racial–ethnic (p < 0.03; F 2.42) and work positions (p <0.0001; F 6.24) were revealed on ethics (3.16; HO1). Statistically significant relationships (p <0.0001; r = 0.26–0.68; HO2) between ethics and employees’ work features also were found, confirming both hypotheses. Perceptions of ethics based on racial-ethnic and position disparities, as well as the robust links with employee work features, offered potential avenues for decreasing disparities at work and improving the quality of long-term care. Noted further on ethics item scoring were relatively low scores indicating less involvement in, and access to, ethics discussions and decisions. In contrast, the literature review substantiated the importance of empowerment and retention, which were enhanced by employee involvement in work, notably, discussions and decisions. Thus, implications of ethics committees in long-term care sites as ways to potentially enhance employees’ work and quality of care, especially work satisfaction and retention, were explored; relevant concerns raised by the Covid pandemic were, briefly, discussed.