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Perceived barriers to whistle blowing in healthcare amongst healthcare professionals : an integrative review

Ekpenyong, Mandu ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3778-645X, Nyashanu, Mathew, Ibrahim, Amina and Serrant, Laura ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9382-9859 (2021) Perceived barriers to whistle blowing in healthcare amongst healthcare professionals : an integrative review. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, 14 (1). pp. 10-27. ISSN 2056-4902

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Abstract

Whistleblowing is a procedure where an existing or past participant of an establishment reveals actions and practices believed to be illegal, immoral, or corrupt, by individuals who can influence change. Whistleblowing is an important means of recognising quality and safety matters in the healthcare system. The aim of this study was to undergo a literature review exploring perceived barriers of whistleblowing in healthcare among healthcare professionals of all grades and the possible influences on the whistle-blower. An integrative review of both quantitative and qualitative studies published between 2000 and 2018 was undertaken using the following databases. CINAHL Plus, Embase, Google Scholar, Medline, and Scopus. The primary search terms were ‘whistleblowing’ and ‘barriers to whistleblowing’. The quality of the included studies was appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria. Prisma flow diagram for quality appraisal and review was utilised. Ten peer-reviewed articles were included. Included papers were analysed using constant comparative analysis. The review identified three broad themes (cultural, Organisational, and individual) factors as having a significant influence on whistleblowing reporting among healthcare professionals This study points out that fear is predominantly an existing barrier causing individuals to hesitate to report wrongdoing in care and further highlights the significance of increasing ethos of trust and honesty within healthcare to uphold the human rights of patients

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