The Concept Technology and its Ethics in Nursing and Caring Journals - an integrative literature review

Eila-Sisko Korhonen, Tina Nordman, Katie Eriksson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Over the past 20 years, the impact of technology has increased significantly in health care. The diversity of technology is growing and its knowledge scattered. The concept of technology is ambiguous in caring and nursing sciences and its ethics remains unidentified. The aim of the study was to find evidence how the concept of technology and its ethics are defined and describe, and summarize how technology and its ethics are depicted in nursing literature. Data was collected from caring and nursing journal articles from 2000 to 2013 focusing on technology and its ethics. By the integrative literature review method the past nursing and caring literature results were summarized and themed. Technology as a concept has three implications.  First, technology is devices and products, including ICT and advanced, simple and assistive technology. Second, technology refers to a process consisting of methods for helping people. Third, technology as a service indicates the production of care by technology. The ethics of technology has not been established as a guiding principle. Some studies excluded ethical reflection completely. Many studies discussed the ethics of technology as benefits like improved communication and symptoms management, whilst others remained critical and presented ethical problems like unwillingness and inability to use technology or conflicts with human aspects.  As a conclusion this study indicates that technology as a concept is described diversely. The relation between technology and ethics is not a truism. Although some evidence has been established, more is still needed to promote ethical care when using technology.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)
    JournalNursing Ethics
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

    Cite this