Quarterly scientific journal

Evidence of Εmpathy in Nursing Students and other health Sciences: Systematic Review

Georghios Karayiannis , Zoe Roupa , Maria Noula , Antonis Farmakas , Evridiki Papastavrou


Introduction: Empathy is the ability to perceive the feelings and experiences of the other personand the ability to communicate it to the other person. It is necessary to cultivate this concept among the Nursing students and other Health Professions during their studies. Aim: The aim of this paper was the systematic review of research studies of Empathy Levels of Undergraduate Students in Nursing and Other Health Professions. Method: A systematic review was performed on the MEDLINE and CINAHL online databases and the GOOGLE SCHOLAR search engine. The basic prerequisite for the introduction was that only primary studies where chosen which used as sample Nursing students or other Health Professionals and that the publication was in English or Greek, between the years 2008-2017. Results: The review produced 17 articles that met the admission criteria. The results of the studies were classified into 3 main categories, namely: a) Empathy Levels of Nursing Students (n = 7), b) Comparative studies of the Levels of Empathy among Nursing and Other Healthcare Professionals (n = 6) and c) Educational Programs for Improving and Enhancing Empathy N = 4). The results are quite contradictory with some studies showing high levels of empathy, others showing a decrease of empathy levels with the progress of studies, particularly in relation to clinical practice, while the comparison between the various health sciences seems to not differ significantly. In relation to the educational programs some have resulted in increased levels of empathy and some not. Conclusions: Empathy remains a multidimensional phenomenon, this why its treatment will also be multidimensional especially with regard to education, either within the whole theoretical and clinical education program, or in the form of support and improvement programs.

Keywords: Empathy, nursing students, health profession student’s, education

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