Measuring Patients’ Perceived Empathy of Clinical Nurses

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Empathy is the perception of patients’ feelings and experiences; in other words, nurses can understand their patients’ feelings by considering themselves in their position. Empathic relationship in patient care can lead to considerable interpersonal communication and as a result, better outcomes for patient health. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess patients’ perceived empathy of clinical nurses.
This cross-sectional study was carried out at teaching hospitals of Zanjan city in 2018 -2019. A sample including 285 inpatients of teaching hospitals in Zanjan city were selected by systematic sampling. To collect data, the Scale of Patient-Perceived Empathy from Nurses (SPPEN) was used. Descriptive statistics (Mean and frequency) and multivariate analyses were applied to describe empathy relationships with personal characteristics.
The factor analysis on 15 items of SPPEN led to three factors with eigenvalue>1 that totally explained 74.5 percent of the variance. Three dimensions of nurses’ expression, patients’ feedbacks and patients’ expectations were identified as effective factors on patients’ perceived empathy. The mean score of overall SPPEN was at upper intermediate level (m=4.98). The mean score of overall SPPEN and its dimensions in young patients were higher than patients aged 45 years and over. Differences in mean scores of overall SPPEN and its dimensions (Except nurses’ expression) were statistically significant on the base of age characteristics (p <0.05). Furthermore, there were significant differences at mean scores of patients’ feedback and patients’ expectations dimensions on the base of inpatients ward variable (p <0.05). The highest mean score of patients’ feedbacks (5.34±1.05) and patients’ expectations (6.05±1.1) were related to gynecology and surgery wards, respectively.
The findings of the present study indicate that inpatients’ perception score of nurses’ empathy was at upper intermediate level. According to the findings, nurses’ empathy and communicative skills must be promoted by establishing training workshops for empathy development.
Journal of Iranian Medical Council, Volume:4 Issue: 2, Spring 2021
64 to 71  
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