Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(11), pp. 1648-1653  November 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Using the demoralization scale for the early detection of demoralization in health professionals

Pei-Yi Li1, Hong-Wen Chen2, Yuh-Cheng Yang3, Li-Yun Tsai4, Ming-Liang Lai5, Douglas T. Bridge6, Chun-Kai Fang7,8*

1Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan.

2Hospice Palliative Care Center, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

4 Department of Nursing, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

5Department of Neurology, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

6Palliative Care Service, Royal Perth Hospital and Department of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

7Department of Psychiatry and Suicide Prevention Center, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Mackay Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan.

8Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:

 Received 08 October, 2011; Accepted 04 November, 2011


Demoralization is a marker of existential distress and loss of meaning and purpose in patients suffering from advanced diseases. However, health professionals can also suffer from demoralization. There is little education for health professionals to prevent demoralization. The Demoralization Scale is a tool to test the severity of demoralization. The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of the demoralization scale to doctors and nurses. The participants were medical and nursing staff of the Mackay Memorial Hospital, a large hospital in Taiwan with a high proportion of cancer patients. All participants used the Mandarin version of the Demoralization Scale (DS-MV). For the reliability tests, we used factor analysis and internal consistency calculated by Cronbach’s alpha, using SPSS 18.0. Acceptable reliability of factor analysis in the DS-MV was found for both doctors and nurses. The Cronbach’s alpha value of the total score was 0.95 for doctors and 0.94 for nurses. This suggests that the Demoralization Scale is a suitable tool not only for evaluating the severity of demoralization amongst doctors and nurses, but also for examining the outcomes of continuing educations in health professionals.


Keywords: Demoralization, burnout, spiritual well-being, health professionals, continuing educations.

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