Relationship of empathy training of empathic level of Nurses and patient satisfaction with Nursing care




Holt-Ashley, Mary

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This experimental study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of empathy training in increasing the empathic level of nurses and influencing patient satisfaction with nursing care. The demographic variables of age, length of practice, educational level and ethnicity were explored to determine their effects on empathy.

Two medical-surgical units in a county hospital were randomly selected for the study. Total population sampling of all registered and licensed vocational nurses on the units was used. There were 24 nurses in the experimental group and 26 nurses in the control group. All patients on the respective units of each nurse sample group who agreed to participate were included in the experimental and control patient groups.

Nurses in the experimental group attended empathy training classes while nurses in both groups received the Hogan Empathy Scale as a pretest and posttest. All patients received the Risser Patient Satisfaction Scale as a pretest and posttest.

Correlation procedures were used to determine the relationship between the demographic variables of age, length of practice, ethnicity and educational level and empathy levels. There was an inverse relationship between age and empathy, in that the younger nurses tended to have higher empathy scores. There was no difference between empathy scores and either of the three variables of length of practice, ethnicity and educational level.

An analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to analyze the five hypotheses. Of the five hypothesis four were accepted. The results of the findings indicated: (1) Empathy levels of the experimental nurse group increased after empathy training. (2) Empathy levels of the control nurse group decreased from pretest to posttest. (3) Empathy levels of the control nurse group was lower than the experimental nurse group after empathy training. (4) Satisfaction with nursing care was higher for the experimental patient group than the control patient group after the nurses received empathy training.



Empathy, Empathy training classes, Patient level of satisfaction, Nursing care