A letter was sent to 55 Independent Living Center Directors in (RSA) Regions V and VIII requesting a list of ILSPs having at least one year or more work experience in their current occupation.
Interviews with 15 ILSPs were conducted to discern the types of ethical dilemmas they experienced in service delivery.
The survey dilemmas were also reviewed by three independent living center directors in which they were asked to rate each dilemma in terms of: (a) how likely ILSPs would perceive each dilemma as containing two conflicting courses of action, (b) each action being mutually exclusive, and (c) each action having potential significant consequences.
A mini-field test was conducted with two ILSPs for the purpose of completing the survey, followed by a personal interview to identify any instructions or items that were ambiguous, misspelled words, or other problems.
A total of 39 usable surveys were returned from the 107 ILSPs in the sample for a return rate of 36.4%.
All 38 ethical dilemmas on the REDS were encountered by ILSPs. Table 1 shows 21 dilemmas encountered by 50% or more of the responding ILSPs and the frequency with which each dilemma was encountered.
As can be observed on Table 1, the three most frequently encountered ethical dilemmas by ILSPs (i.e., 16, 18, and 20) involved conflict between the ethical principles of autonomy and beneficence.
An implication of encountering these types of dilemmas suggests that ILSPs respect consumer autonomy in the service-delivery process.
Ethical Dilemmas for which ILSPs Requested Training
All 38 ethical dilemmas were rated by at least 75% of ILSPs (item 11 was the exception at 74.3%) as somewhat important or higher.
(1983) indicated that ILSPs' perceptions, programs' missions, and funding sources may be antithetical to consumers' choices.
A paucity of research exists on the types of ethical dilemmas encountered by ILSPs and their perceptions on the need for training to address these dilemmas.