A comparative study of Chinese, American and Japanese nurses' perceptions of ethical role responsibilities

Samantha Mei Che Pang*, Aiko Sawada, Emiko Konishi, Douglas P. Olsen, Philip L.H. Yu, Moon Fai Chan, Naoya Mayumi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a survey of nurses in different cultural settings to reveal their perceptions of ethical role responsibilities relevant to nursing practice. Drawing on the Confucian theory of ethics, the first section attempts to understand nursing ethics in the context of multiple role relationships. The second section reports the administration of the Role Responsibilities Questionnaire (RRQ) to a sample of nurses in China (n = 413), the USA (n = 163), and Japan (n = 667). Multidimensional preference analysis revealed the patterns of rankings given by the nurses to the statements they considered as important ethical responsibilities. The Chinese nurses were more virtue based in their perception of ethical responsibilities, the American nurses were more principle based, and the Japanese nurses were more care based. The findings indicate that the RRQ is a sensitive instrument for outlining the embedded sociocultural factors that influence nurses' perceptions of ethical responsibilities in the realities of nursing practice. This study could be important in the fostering of partnerships in international nursing ethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-311
Number of pages17
JournalNursing Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Care-based ethics
  • Cultural study
  • Principle-based ethics
  • Virtue-based ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparative study of Chinese, American and Japanese nurses' perceptions of ethical role responsibilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this