HEC Forum

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 61-78

Implementing a Clinical Ethics Needs Assessment Survey: Results of a Pilot Study (Part 2 of 2)

  • Andrea FrolicAffiliated withHamilton Health SciencesProfessional Affairs, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University Medical Center Email author 
  • , Sandra AndreychukAffiliated withHamilton Health Sciences
  • , Wendy SeidlitzAffiliated withHamilton Health Sciences
  • , Angela Djuric-PaulinAffiliated withHamilton Health Sciences
  • , Barb FlahertyAffiliated withHamilton Health Sciences
  • , Barb JenningsAffiliated withHamilton Health Sciences
  • , Donna PeaceAffiliated withHamilton Health Sciences

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper details the implementation of the Clinical Ethics Needs Assessment Survey (CENAS) through a pilot study in five units within Hamilton Health Sciences. We describe how these pilot sites were selected, how we implemented the survey, the significant results and our interpretation of the findings. The primary goal of this paper is to share our experiences using this tool, specifically the challenges we encountered conducting a staff ethics needs assessment across different units in a large teaching hospital, and the facilitators to our success. We conclude with a discussion of the limitations of this study, our plans for using the results to develop a proactive ethics education strategy, and suggestions for other organizations wishing to adapt the CENAS to assess their staff ethics needs. Our secondary goal is to advance the “quality agenda” for ethics programs by demonstrating how a tool like the CENAS can be used to design more effective educational interventions, and to support strategic planning and proactive priority-setting for ethics programs.


Ethics committees Survey Strategic planning Priority setting Interprofessional Needs Ethics education Hospital Organizational ethics Ethical climate