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Original Research

RMJ. 2019; 44(1): 182-186

Effect of Nurse’s Empathy on patient-perceived empathy and patient anxiety

Fatemeh Ghanee, Maryam Hazrati, Seyedeh Ameneh Motalebi.


Objective: To examine the effect of the nurse’s empathy on the patient-perceived empathy and the patient’s anxiety.
Methodology: This clinical trial was carried out on elderly patients admitted in Namazi Hospital, Shiraz, Iran. The experimental group received nursing empathy based on a standard relationship protocol and the control group received the usual routine nursing care. The patients’ anxiety level and patient’s empathy perception were measured by the Spielberger Anxiety Inventory and Jefferson questionnaires, respectively. Data were collected at the time of admission and discharge and were analyzed using Chi-square, Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests.
Results: The mean age of 124 patients was 68.83±7.34 years. Most of them were men (n=74, 59.7%) and married (n=91, 73.39%). No significant differences were found between two groups at baseline. Perceived nurse’s empathy increased significantly in the experimental group (P=0.000). Both groups showed significant improvement on the state anxiety after the completion the program. However, no change was found in trait anxiety after the intervention.
Conclusion: Patients understood empathy very well, but seemingly further studies are needed to investigate its effectiveness on anxiety of the elderly patients.

Key words: Elderly patient, empathy, state anxiety, trait anxiety.

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