Impact of training on empathic communication skills and tendency of nurses.


Clinical excellence for nurse practitioners : the international journal of NPACE, vol.5, no.1, pp.44-51, 2001 (Scopus) identifier identifier


The study was done as a quasi-experimental investigation with the purpose of measuring the effectiveness of training on teaching the nurses empathic tendency and skills for their interactions with patients. The study setting was that of 260 nurses who work at Hacettepe University Adult Hospital; but only the nurses (150) who work in the medical and surgical units were included in the sample. Nurses who work in the other intensive care units, outpatient clinics, operating rooms, obstetric unit, and psychiatric unit were excluded from the sample because they care for unconscious or permanently bedridden patients, so it is not possible to communicate with them as the study required. After the pretest questionnaire, nurses in the sample were distributed randomly to intervention and control groups. To lower interactions between nurses, clinics in which the nurses work were selected randomly, to keep the nurses far from each other physically. Data were collected through a questionnaire with three sections. The first section asked for information about the background characteristics of nurses. The second section consisted of sample cases very common in surgery and medical units and prepared to be appropriate to nurses, by using Dökmen's Scale of Empathic Skills. The third section of the questionnaire included the Empathic Tendency Scale. The validity and reliability studies of this scale were performed by Dökmen (Dökmen, 1989; Dökmen, 1990). The questionnaire was used for both groups, and then the intervention group was educated about empathic communication. After that, the same questionnaire was again used for the two groups. There were 43 nurses in the intervention group and 70 nurses in the control group. The data from this research were evaluated using percentage distributions and statistical tests such as Chi-square and paired T-test. According to the results of the research, empathic communication skills were developed in the intervention group as a result of empathy training. However, this training did not make any changes in empathic tendency levels.