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The concept of empathy lies amid much confusion This analysis addresses that confusion using Walker and Avant's model of concept analysis, and looks at what empathy is is it trait or state, is it dynamic or static, and how is it recognized and measured' Implications of these findings are discussed, limitations of the study are acknowledged and areas for further work suggested
Joumal of Advanced Nursmg, 1996,23,1162-1167
A concept analysis of empathy
Theresa Wiseman RGN BSc(Hons)(Psy) RCNT RNT PGDE
Nurse Tutor, Bloomsbury and Islington
of Nursing and Midwifery, London,
pubhcation 2 August 1995
(1996) Journal of Advanced Nursing 23,1162-1167
A concept analysis of empathy
The concept of empathy lies amid much confusion This analysis addresses that
confusion using Walker and Avant's model of concept analysis, and looks
what empathy is
is it
is it
static, and how is
recognized and measured' Implications of these findings are discussed,
limitations ofthe study are acknowledged and areas
further work suggested
is a
tenn widely used and written about
mg and,
apphcation has become
blurred When this happens,
one way to
to conduct
concept analysis When embarking
on con-
cept analysis. Walker
Avant (1983) advocate choosing
you are
akeady interested, either
associated with
or one
always been
to you
Eighteen years' expenence
author, long ago, forming
tentative opinion that
the abihty
empathize which distinguishes
nurse from
excellent nurse
in the
the patient,
how care
delivered Accompanying this
the fact that durmg
3-year breeik
to do a
time degree
author noted
m the
m the
nursing press
management, education
and the
The hterature highlights the need
analysis Tshuldm
(1989) asserts that no area of nursmg demands more empa-
thy than
more empathic nurses
are, the
more likely they are
give total care Sharkey (1985) sug-
gests that those nurses who seemed
to be
of by
colleagues were those with
the ability to imagine how each
their patients felt, from
each patient's perspective, takmg mto account their vaned
backgroimds cuid different reactions
talization Reynolds (1987) reveals that although empathy
most cntical ingredient
the helping relationship
(Kalisch 1973), there
little agreement
as to how it is to
be defined
His 1986
Scotland demonstrated
Correspondence Theresa Wiseman, 26
Park Avenue, Wanstead,
London E12 5EN England
that nurse teachers are often unclear about what they mean
by empathy and that confusion
the construct has impli-
learning Homblow
(1977) point
that research
of an
agreed theoretical framework
operational definition
The purposes
concept analysis mclude clarification
terms which have become catch-phrases
have lost
their meaning,
developing operational defi-
for use
Ul theory
and an
exercise (Walker
Avant 1983)
this analysis, the mam
purposes were
mcrease knowledge
the concept
to answer some questions Namely, what
if it
how is it
recognized, nurtured
and sus-
tained, under what conditions does
and IS it
dynamic' Walker
framework is used because, edthough sympathizing with
Rodger's (1989) comments
first attempt at concept analysis and Walker
and Avant's
book provides full information
In order
working definitions
thy used
'ordinary' nurses,
at the
Royal College
Nursmg, London, was asked 'What came
term empathy
argued that this was
not a
representative group
as they were
on a
so may
of better access
reading matenal, time,
resources They may also have higher than average motiv-
ation To address this, comments were also added
bom a
vanous ages
experience sittmg
a hospital refectory
'brainstorm' produced
1162© 1996 BlackweU Science Ltd
A concept analysis of empathy
following Listening, Canng, Understandu^,
Feelmg, Empathy, Non-)uc^emental, See how others see.
In this paper I will consider the ongins of the word
'empathy' and the dictionary defimtions, examme the
broad quahties of empathy as descnbed by Kalisch (1973)
and Bumard (1988), address the debate about whether
empathy is 'trait' or 'state', consider how researchers
define empathy emd finally, examme empathy from the
patients' point of view
The Fontana (1988) Dictionary of Modem Thought high-
lights the ongms of the word empathy It was comed by
Vemon Lee m 1904 and then employed by
a psychologist, in 1909 as a translation of the German
'Emfdhlmg' which means 'feelmg into' This notion had
been developed by Lotze (1908), provoking the Alienation
Theory of Brechtm However, this is not the forum to
develop this discussion further (see Fontana (1988)
Dictionary of Modem Thought) The following is the most
abstract definition of empathy
Projection (not necessarily voluntary) of the self mto the feehngs
of others, mto the 'being' of objects or sets of objects, it miplies
psychological involvement, at once Keat's pain and joy
This suggests that empathy can occur subconsciously as
well as consciously, with mammate objects as well as ani-
mate, that It mvolves the mind or psyche, and that it can
cause pam as well as joy Another definition which men-
tions inanimate objects is m Chambers 20th Century
Dictionary (1983 p 325)
the power of entenng into another's personality and lmagmat-
lvely experiencing his expenences, the power of entenng mto the
feelmg or spirit of somethmg (especially a work of art) and so
appreciate it fully
Here one gets the notion of a strength rather than a weak-
and the idea of valuing from 'appreciate it fully' The
Longman Dictionary of Psychology and Psychiatry (1984)
emphasizes the objectivity and interpretation Eispect
the objective awareness of another person's thoughts and feel-
mgs and their possible meanings One who empathizes sustains
his objectivity and separate feehngs even when confronted with
disturbu^ psychological matenal
Two nursmg dictionanes were then consulted Saimders
(1989) Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing
and Apphed Health pomts to the understanding compo-
nent and compares empathy with sympathy
Intellectual and emotional awareness and imderstandmg of
another person's
even those that
are distressing and disturbing Empathy emphasises understand-
ing, sympathy emphasises sharing of another's feelings and
Mosby's Medical and Nursmg Dictionary
the understandmg and significance of the person and the
importance of empathy for psychotherapy
The ability to recognise and to some extent share the emotions
and states of
of another and to understand the meaning and
significance of that person's behaviour It is an essential quabty
for effecbve psychotherapy Compare with sympathy, which
expressed mterest or concem regarding the problems, emotions
or states of mmd of another
The literature concerning empathy shows a wide range of
use ofthe word, from broad to specific Apart from diction-
ary defimtions, five of which were selected, a literature
search gave 53 references All these references were exam-
ined but consensus led to 33 bemg used in this article
The five dictionary definitions are important to begin the
analysis as each contains differing elements which come
out in the hterature
Early theonsts and wnters saw empathy as a trait or
charactenstic which was stable and could he measured but
not taught Among these are Cronhach (1955), Hogan
Smither (1977) and more recently, Astrom et al
(1991) Cronbach and Hogan devised personahty tests to
test for empathy These authors define empathy as a per-
sonality attnbute mvolvmg the capacity to respond
emotionally, cognitively and communicatively to other
persons without the loss of objectivity From this defi-
nition, it can be seen that the quahties of empathy mirror
the other theonsts but the denvation is different Latterly,
theonsts see empathy as havmg both 'trait' and 'state'
Williams (1989) maintains that people have a tendency
to expenence empathy that may or may not be actualized
in any specific situation Her research investigated the
relationship between empathy and burnout, tentatively
suggesting that they may represent opposite poles of the
same underlying construct However, no support for a
polar relationship was foimd Sharkey (1985) asks why so
few nurses with the abihty to empathize actually use it
She suggests that nurse traimng damages the innate ability
of the tramee to empathize
As noted earlier, some wnters seem very specific and clear,
about what empathy is whilst others (the minonty) are
imclear, and the concept can easily be confused with other
such as sjmipathy or commumcation Among the
latter are Smith (1985), Assimacopoulos (1987) and
Wilson-Bamett (1988) Smith (1985, p 5) says empathy is
1996 Blackwell Science Ltd,
T Wiseman
'knowing what the other person is suffenng because you
can imagine yourself in similar circumstances or because
you have had similar expenence' The reader could easily
be forgiven for confusing this with sympathy
Assimacopoulos (1987) also confuses empathy with sym-
pathy and Wilson-Bamett asserts that nurses who talk less
are perceived as bemg more empathic
Bumard (1988) defines empathy as the ability to see the
world as another person sees it or to enter mto another's
frame of reference One attempts to set aside one's own
perception of thmgs in order to think the way the other
person thinks or feel the way they feel Bumard distingu-
ishes empathy from sympathy S5rmpathy involves 'feeling
sorry' for the other person or imagining how we would
feel if we were expenencmg what is happening to them
Empathy differs m that we try to imagine what it is like
being that person and experiencing things as they do, not
as we would
Bumard (1988) sees empathy as the key to understand-
ing and, as such, a vital skill for nurses to leam He
explains that the skill of empathy involves two related
processes One is attempting to view the world as the
patient does and the other is attemptmg to identify the
personal theory that guides patients m their everyday
expenence Because Bumard sees empathy as a skill,
he concentrates on methods of developing empathy for
climcal and educational staff
Kalisch (1973) asserts that empathy must involve current
feelings of a person, not the feelmgs of yesterday or the
day before She states that it is the ability to enter mto the
life of another person, stressing the importance of the per-
ception of feelmgs bemg accurate Kalisch also compares
empathy to sympathy, explaining that m empathy helpers
borrow their clients' feelmgs m order to understand them,
but are always aware of their separateness In her defi-
nition of empathy, Kalisch (1973) does not include
the communication of understanding, but does not state
that when empathy is communication, it forms the basis
for a helping relationship She views empathetic per-
ception and communication as a state m terms of levels or
categones rather than an 'all or nothmg' charactenstic
Three components
Rogers (1957) descnbed empathy as having three com-
ponents affective (sensitivity), cognitive (observation
and mental processing), and communicative (helper's
response) LaMonica (1981) highlights the commumcation
aspect of empathy She defines empathy as sigmfymg a
central focus and feehng, with and m the chent's world
It mvolves accurate perception of the chent's world by the
helper, commumcation of his/her understandmg to the
chent, and the chent's perception of the helper's under-
standing LaMonica and others (1976) showed that nurses
initially scored low m empathy hut this level mcreased
followmg a staff development progreimme Truax
(1971) asserted that nurses are generally low m empathy
compared to other professional groups Situational factors
have been found to eiffect the level of empathy expressed
Iwasiw 1989)
Carkhuff (1969) was one of the first theonsts to assert
that if empathy was a state, it was dynamic and therefore
could be measured on different levels He suggested that
empathy is employed when one mdividual hears and
understands another It mvolves 'crawhng inside another
person's skin' and seeing the world through his/her eyes
It mvolves expenencmg the world as if you were that
person Carkhuff (1969) stressed the commimication of
empathy and devised a scale to measure empathy on five
levels based on the response, whether the feehng was
acknowledged or not, surface feehngs refiected and the
interpretation of underlying feeling communicated Other
theonsts who have also devised scales include Gazda
(1973) and LaMomca (1981)
As the consensus is that empathy is a skill which is crucial
to the helping relationship, many authors discuss methods
of teaching empathy most effectively (Layton 1979,
Bumard 1987, Cox 1989, Morath 1989 and Tshuldm 1989)
Bumard (1987) suggests that before nurses can understand
and explore a patient's perspective, they must explore
their own perspective Self-awareness, therefore, is a prere-
quisite to empathy Bumard identifies other skills neces-
sary for empathy including the ability to listen, to offer
free attention and to suspend judgement Tshuldm (1989)
highhghts self-awareness, communication skills, especi-
ally listening, perception of feelings withm self and others
and hidden feelmgs, emd not judgmg others
The literature makes very little mention of the client's
views on empathy Rogers (1957) states that bemg under-
the most basic human need, and it is only by bemg
understood and accepted that individuals are able to
change and grow Although there is literature to show that
empathy affects the helping relationship, there is a lack of
reference to the client's pomt of view Engledow (1987), a
nurse, identifies empathy as being vital to her if she were
a patient Many studies do not even use patient assessment
of empathy This is clearly a deficit ui the literature which
needs to be addressed
Having examined the literature, the next step according to
the Walker & Avant (1988) model is to identify 'defining
attnbutes' A defining attnbute is something which has to
be present for the concept to occur Each charactenstic
evident from the hterature is discussed and either accepted
or rejected as a defijiing attnbute
1164© 1996 Blackwell Science Ltd, Joumal of Advanced Nursing, 23, 1162-1167
A concept analysis of empathy
or state
This was rejected as a defining attnbute because empathy
occurs regardless of whether it is a state or trait The htera-
ture points to empathy being both People have a dispo-
sition to be empathic, but whether they are or not depends
on situational factors
See the world as others see it
All 53 references without excepbon mcluded this as a
charactenstic of empathy Two of the dictionary defi-
mtions proposed that 'others' could mean an object rather
than a person This was accepted as a definmg attnhute,
without this empathy cannot occur
Understand another's current feehngs
All references included understanding another's feehngs,
which was accepted as an attnbute Some wnters, among
them Kalisch (1973), stress the importance of current feel-
mgs because perceptions had to be accurate This part of
the charactenstic was rejected hecause if a person is relat-
mg an instance about how they felt m the past, it is still
possible to be empathic and acknowledge the feelings of
the past even though they do not feel that way at present
Most references (40) highlight ohjectivity as a component
of empathy Rogers (1957) redefines this mto non-
judgemental Although It could be argued that, if the other
attnbutes were present (that is, seeing the world as others
see it and understanding the feelmgs of
this would
automatically be present also The author consulted many
colleagues as to this attnbute because some argued that
one could understand but still be judgemental This was
accepted because of its importance, but is more tentative
than the other attributes
Communicate the understanding
Commumcation of understanding seems vital if empathy
IS to be felt Although early works do not include this, it
does seem implicit All tools for measuring empathy
mclude communication of imderstandmg, so this was
regarded as an attnbute
Summary of definmg attributes
1 See the world as others see it
2 Non-judgemental
3 Understandmg emother's feelmgs
4 Commumcate the understandmg
tenze archetypes and deviations This will help the reader
to clanfy the concept
Model case
Ann, who is 35 years old, has two children and is suffenng
from cancer of the ovary, went to see a counsellor The
counsellor, a 50-year-old man, listened to Ann as she
described her background and how she had been taku^
her anger about her illness out on the children By what
he said and how he acted, Ann knew that he understood
how she felt, and did not hlame her for being angry This
IS a model case because it contains all the attnbutes Even
though Ann and the coimsellor have very different 'terms
of reference', he listens to what she says, sees the situation
from her point of view, is not judgemental and is able to
communicate that imderstandmg to her
Borderline case
It was Joe's first day back at school since his father had
died At break-time, he was in the classroom crymg His
teacher came m, listened to how he felt but said nothing
He thought she understood, but she did not say anythmg,
he wished his father was there
This IS a borderline case because the teacher listens to
Joe and he thinks she understands that he is upset about
his father and is a 'cry baby' But he is not sure, as she did
not say anjrthmg It leaves him feelmg uncertsun about the
mteraction and wishmg for secunty
Related case
Beth was upset, she had been forbidden to go out as she
had been consistently late home She was gomg to miss a
dance which everyone was gomg to attend Kathrjrn said,
'Poor Beth,
know how you feel
had to miss an important
dance when I was your age because I'd npped my dress
and had nothing to wear'
This IS a related case of sympathy Katluyn sees Beth is
upset over missing the dance, and thinks she would feel
the same In fact, she remembers a time when exactly that
happened and she was upset Katluyn is getting the lmtial
feehng Beth is expressing But she is mterpretmg it from
her own background and expenence so she misses com-
pletely what it means to Beth Although Beth senses the
warmth of the mteraction, she does not get any feehngs of
understanding, though there does not appear to be any
At this stage. Walker and Avant (1988) advise demonstrat-
ing a model case and several borderlme cases to charac-
Contrary case
Mrs Jones felt desperate and told the nurse she could not
go on with life 'Oh, don't be silly,' the nurse replied
'You've got a lot to live for'
1996 Blackwell Science Ltd,
T Wiseman
This IS a contrary case as there is no acknowledgement
of how Mrs Jones is feeling The nurse does not attempt
to see the world through Mrs Jones' eyes She is judge-
mental and does not communicate any understandmg Mrs
Jones IS left feelmg remonstrated It took a lot for her
to voice her desperation, she knew nobody would
understand and that she was not worth bothermg about
Once the model cases have been identified, the next step
to specify the charactenstics present whenever the event
occurs These are the antecedents (the required charac-
tenstics needed before the concept occurs) and the
consequences (the product of the concept occumng)
This area was quite difficult to identify as there was con-
fusion as to whether antecedents apphed to an mcidence
of empathy or the skill of empathy It was decided to
address both Before empathy occurs there has to be (a) an
interaction mvolvmg communication of a feeling, and
(b) hstemng on both sides, one to the feelings and thoughts
of the 'empathee' and the other to empathy being
There was consideration of whether a conscious desire
to empathize was an antecedent, but this was rejected as
It could not account for mstances where empathy is sub-
conscious and not desired Self-awareness was also con-
sidered as an antecedent as many programmes teachmg
empathy begin with self-awareness This was rejected
because some people are naturally empathic (the trait
aspect) without bemg necessanly self-aware
The consequences of an empathic interaction is that
'empathees' have a hasic need to be understood satisfied,
they feel valued and more ready to understand themselves
and change The person bemg empathic feels satisfied
because he/she senses they have been of help and fulfilled
the need to be useful to others
The last stage of the model is to identify what phen-
omena demonstrate the occurrence of the concept The
empmcal referents determine when the concept has
occurred, so can be used as a measure They may be similar
or identical to the defining attnhutes Indeed, m this
analysis they are the same
Empincal referents
Empincal referents are (a) the abilify to listen, (b) the
ability to take on another's term of reference, (c) the ability
to understand and not judge, and (d) the ability to
communicate that understanding
Reading through the hterature, confusion has occurred
because of the trait/state argument and the absence of a
working definition of empathy However, there does now
appear to be consensus that a person may have a dispo-
sition to be empathic (trait) but whether she/he is depends
on a number of factors (state) The research question deter-
mines which element of empathy is examined, whether it
be the subject's disposition or the mcidence of empathy,
how often empathy occurs or the qualify ofthe interaction
It IS the latter aspect which caused the author some
difficulfy Most research is quantitative and the existing
tools which measure empathy (mcluduig Carkhuff 1969,
and LaMonica 1981) begin with level one which is 'ignores
feehngs expressed' even though it is specified that a mmi-
mum level of empathy is level three which fulfils the defi-
nition This should be addressed, as it could be this
dichotomy which is causing confusion
Research also needs to measure empathy more globally,
mcluding subject self-report, client report and observation,
both participant and non-participant This may address
verbeJ and non-verbal communication of empathy and the
feet that attitudes do not always reflect behaviour and that
what people say they do and actually do are not always
the same
The aim of this analysis was to clarify the meanmg of
empathy and address some questions The questions of
what empathy is, is it trait or state, dynamic or static, and
how it IS recognized have been considered and clearly
identified usmg the Walker & Avant (1988) model of
concept analysis
However, the questions how is empathy nurtured and
sustained, and under which conditions does it fiounsh and
diminish have not been fully examined and have major
implications for nursmg m recruitment, education (both
methods and process) and man^ement (the environment
and the delivery of care)
There is clearly a need for future research in these areas
Concept analysis may clear the way for that work to begm
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© 1996 Blackwell Science Ltd, Joumal of Advanced Nursmg, 23, 1162-11671167
... In line with the first goal of this paper, this work begins with a conceptual overview of empathy including the historical context of empathy in broad terms followed by discussion of the relevant scholarship on empathy within public administration. Following this overview, this paper creates a framework to detect empathy in public organization through the combination of four attributes of empathy (Wiseman, 1996) and seven artifacts of organizational culture (Gooden, 2014). This framework is applied to an archival dataset of HABC, which reflects the second goal of this paper noted above. ...
... As a word, empathy is a relatively new addition to the English language created in order to describe a new dimension of compassion observed by social scientists. Making an appearance in English language dictionaries in 1909 from the German word einf€ uhlung, translated as "feeling into" or "in-feeling" (Wiseman, 1996(Wiseman, , p. 1162. We see initial usage of the term by German and American psychologists Theodor Lipps (1903) and Edward Tichener (1909). ...
... But its second layer takes that experiential understanding further toward a reaction (Davis, 1983;Konrath, O'Brien, & Hsing, 2011). For empathy to occur, the information obtained from the imaginative process must be utilized to communicate understanding back to the other individual and to generate a reaction in line with the information obtained (Wiseman, 1996). In this way, empathy begins as an internal process and culminates with an active response. ...
Public organizations fulfill critical needs in communities across the United States, such as housing, environmental protection, public education, and more. In this important role, healthy public organizations should be accountable to the values that guide their work. But there is an absence of tools that support the assessment of empathy in public organizational culture, that is, the value that supports equitably interacting, including, and representing all individuals served. To close the gap, this article presents a framework to detect an organizational culture of empathy, including the results from a case study of Housing Authority of Baltimore City and providing examples for how organizations can engage in empathic practices.
... The consequence of interaction is that there is a need to be understood, they feel valued and are more satisfied because he / she senses they have been of help and fulfilled the need to be useful to others (Wisemant, 1996(Wisemant, : 1166. In addition, the most important thing is that he will feel valued and certainly will better understand themselves and evaluate themselves to be ready to face the changes that occur in the surrounding environment. ...
... The empathy values which are developed at the State islamic University should be managed well and it must be is the need to be understood. The students feel valued and are more satisfied because they are provided almost everything they need (Wisemant, 1996(Wisemant, : 1166. In addition, the most important thing is that he will feel valued and certainly will better understand themselves and evaluate themselves to be ready to face the changes that occur in the surrounding environment. ...
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This study of the management of Islamic character education is the basis for developing the value of empathy for students of the Faculty of Science of Islamic Education and Teacher Training, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University Yogyakarta. Students must get education not only scientifically through Islamic character to develop their empathy values. This noble personality needs to be possessed by students. This is to create a comfortable, harmonious, pleasant atmosphere of life both when students are in the campus environment and off campus. This study uses a qualitative research model, to analyze the character of student empathy through Islamic education management studies based on questionnaires, observation, documentation, and interviews, and inductive analysis. The results of the Islamic character education management study show that students of the Tarbiyah and Teacher Training Faculty of the State Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta have a fairly good empathy character, which is assessed based on seven indicators of empathy. The most dominant empathy attitude of the student (83%) is the attitude of appreciation of other people who have done something correctly and the smallest (69%) done by the student is perception of others.
... Empathy, or putting oneself in another's place, is examined extensively in social psychology and entails having compassion and the ability to feel for others. There are four defining attributes of empathy: See the world as others see it, understand others' current feelings, remain non-judgmental, and communicate understanding of others' feelings (Wiseman, 1996). Being sensitive and responsive to diverse interests requires empathetic behavior. ...
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Emotion is the “how” of NASPAA competencies related to leading and managing in a culturally-conscious manner. In this article, we describe the role of emotion in public service and we detail the mechanism by which emotion fosters a collective mind-set for effective public service leadership and cultural literacy. We indicate specifically where emotive competencies could be integrated into the foundational skills demanded of all graduates of accredited programs. We further argue that they should be integrated into MPA core curricula. This normative argument captures the ethics of emotional labor: To graduate students from MPA programs without emotive capacities is to leave them poorly equipped for the practice of public service and to do so would be unethical. To demonstrate what is possible in public affairs education, we turn to an example from the Government of India Civil Service Competency Dictionary for a framework of emotive competencies in human resource management.
... As team members are core stakeholders for IPE, empathy training allowed for understanding of needs, issues, and design opportunities. The first paper shared a concept analysis of empathy by nursing scholar Dr. Wiseman 15 and introduced four defining attributes: seeing the world as others see it (perspective), being non-judgmental, understanding another's feelings, and communicating the knowledge. The second white paper by Reiss and Kraft-Todd, 16 11 4. Teams determine project stakeholders (core, direct, indirect) and develop empathic questions to uncover perspectives -projecting those for and against the project. ...
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Background Interprofessional curricula that targets the needs of all stakeholders is not a standard within interprofessional education (IPE). Incorporating _mpathic design thinking into curricular development calls upon stakeholders to provide insights into the expectations and goals of interprofessional learning and practice. Purpose Design Thinking has been tested in various settings but has not been fully adopted in healthcare and education. This paper will describe how a design thinking process was used to understand gaps between expected IPE competencies, curricular implementation, and interprofessional work. Approach We utilized the first two stages of an _mpathic design thinking approach to explore the essential elements needed within an interprofessional curriculum for nursing and medical students. Outcomes Essential elements included incorporating curricular strategies that enhance relationships, communication, coordination and the physical environment for interprofessional work. Conclusion _mpathic Design Thinking can be readily incorporated into healthcare and education, providing a holistic approach to identifying IPE gaps and understanding stakeholder needs.
... Empathy, or putting oneself in another's place, is examined extensively in social psychology and entails having compassion and the ability to feel for others. There are four defining attributes of empathy: See the world as others see it, understand others' current feelings, remain non-judgmental, and communicate understanding of others' feelings (Wiseman, 1996). Being sensitive and responsive to diverse interests requires empathetic behavior. ...
Full-text available
This article combines theories on emotional labor in public service and dirty work to argue that organizations should adopt an ethic of care to support their workers. The economics of public services undermine the consumer-sovereignty narrative in government, particularly where public servants are agents of social control and enforcement. Public servants cannot and should not behave according to a customer-service ethos in many important areas of public service. Emotional labor is the process by which workers manage the identity-damaging aspects of public service. This article critiques individual-level human resource management (HRM) approaches and recommends dismantling customer service expectations that are inappropriately applied in public-service contexts.
... "These authors defined empathy as a personality attribute involving the capacity to respond emotionally, cognitively, and communicatively to other persons without the loss of objectivity" (Hughes, 2017, p. 38;Wiseman, 1996).Since then, theorists have recognized the multidimensional nature of empathy involving and being demonstrated in different disciplines, such as social science and ethno-cultural empathy. ...
This qualitative research study examined the impact of teaching empathy on student achievement, academically, socially, and emotionally. Furthermore, guided by the research questions, it investigated teacher perceptions, behaviors, and actions regarding empathy and its significance in the classroom setting. Guided by the Multiple Intelligences Theory by Howard Gardner, the Social-Emotional Development Theories, by Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget, and the Cognitive Development and Reasoning Theories by Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, and the Social and Emotional Intelligence Theories, a research study was designed and implemented containing a questionnaire, interview questions, and personal narrative prompts. Data was collected from 47 educators teaching in the Middle School of ACS Athens, an international school located in Athens, Greece. Information and data were collected and analyzed using manual as well as, online methodologies to categorize data according to themes. The outcomes were later validated through member checking as well as, comparison and alignment with standard-testing student scores. Results demonstrated that educators were knowledgeable of the meaning of empathy and its significance on building collaborative communities within the classroom and the school environment leading to socio-emotional competence, capacities, and skills. Moreover, there were educators who believed that empathy and socio-emotional competence integrated in the classroom curriculum, practices, and expectations lead to students feeling safe and secure, which leads to the students’ willingness to open up to their learning and knowledge acquisition. Meanwhile, a large number of educators stated that their curriculum responsibilities, the administration expectations, and the lack of training and professional development limit their ability to v implement empathetic practices in their instruction and teaching methodology. In comparison to the map testing scores, the results designated that educators who build on empathic cultures in their classrooms, affected their students’ academic achievement through improvement in their test results. Additionally, integrating empathy in instruction, may lead to meaningful teaching and learning. Realizing the impact of empathic interventions on student success provides educators with the necessary understanding and recognition that kindness, compassion, and empathetic feelings lead to effective learning environments and attain student achievement, academically, socially, and emotionally.
When people think about trust in the context of health care, they typically focus on whether patients trust the competence of doctors and other health professionals. But for health care to reach its full potential as a service, trust must also include the notion of partnership, whereby patients see their clinicians as reliable, caring, shared decision-makers who provide ongoing “healing” in its broadest sense. Four interrelated service-quality concepts are central to fostering trust-based partnerships in health care: empathetic creativity, discretionary effort, seamless service, and fear mitigation. Health systems and institutions that prioritize trust-based partnerships with patients have put these concepts into practice using several concrete approaches: investing in organizational culture; hiring health professionals for their values, not just their skills; promoting continuous learning; attending to the power of language in all care interactions; offering patients “go-to” sources for timely assistance; and creating systems and structures that have trust built into their very design. It is in the real-world implementation of trust-based partnership that health care can reclaim its core mission.
Objective: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the heart of preschool education. Although there are many SEL programmes to guide early childhood teachers’ practice, seldom has empathy been a focus for teaching or assessment. Method: This study examined methods to teach empathy in the early years and investigated skills that promote its development. Sixty-nine preschoolers (M = 54 months) participated in either the manualized COPE-Resilience programme (n = 35) or alternative experiential SEL programme (n = 34) over six-weeks to enhance empathy, prosocial behaviour and coping. Results: Preschoolers, who were rated as more prosocial and used more positive coping strategies by their teachers, were also found to be more empathic. The COPE-Resilience group showed more significant improvements in prosocial behaviour (ηp² = 16) and positive coping (ηp² =.25) following the intervention. Conclusion: Evidence of the consolidation of empathic understanding was found in the preschoolers’ artwork and teacher interviews. Implications for future research in preschool empathy programs are discussed.
Stigma, defined as social devaluation based on negative stereotypes toward a particular population, is prevalent within health care and is a common phenomenon in disorders of gut‐brain interaction (DGBI). Characteristically, DGBI including functional dyspepsia (FD) lack a structural etiology to explain symptoms, have high psychiatric co‐morbidity, and respond to neuromodulators traditionally used to treat psychopathology. As a result, these disorders are frequently and wrongly presumed to be psychiatric and carry a great deal of stigma. Stigma has profound adverse consequences for patients, including emotional distress, medication non‐adherence, barriers to accessing care, and increased symptoms. The basis for stigma dates back to the 17th Century concept of mind‐body dualism. Patients and health care providers need to understand the factors that promote stigma and methods to ameliorate it. In this minireview, we address the data presented in Yan et al.'s (Neurogastroenterol Motil, 2020, e13956). We offer concrete solutions for clinicians to mitigate the impact of stigma to optimize treatment adherence and clinical outcomes for patients with DGBI.
Sixty nursing staff in geriatric and psychogeriatric care (RNs, LPNs and nurse's aides) were selected to be studied on two occasions with an interval of one year regarding the relationships between their experience of burnout, empathy and attitudes towards demented patients. A semistructured interview was performed on the second occasion to learn more about their work experience and to relate the ratings of burnout, empathy and attitudes to their experience at work. The staff's experience of burnout changed from a mean score of 2.7 in 1987 to 2.5 in 1988. Their empathic ability was moderately high and increased from 398 (m) in (1987) to 450 (m) in 1988. The attitudes of staff remained unchanged from 1987 to 1988 and no differences were found regarding the staff's age, place of work or time at present place of work. As for the staff's empathy, there was no difference with respect to sex, category of staff or place of work. RN's showed the most positive attitudes towards demented patients both in 1987 and 1988 and differed compared to the nurse's aides and LPN's. Burnout correlated with lower empathy and less positive attitudes in the staff. Regression analysis showed that ‘experience of feed-back at work’ and ‘time spent at present place of work’ were the most important factors when explaining burnout among the staff. Staff with high empathy experienced “a close contact with the patient” as the most stimulating factor at work while staff with low empathy experienced “improvement of the patient's health” and “contact with colleagues” as the most stimulating factors. The importance of counteracting burnout in the care of demented patients is stressed.
Various combinations of modeling, labeling, and rehearsal (videotaped) were used to teach empathy to four experimental groups; a fifth group served as a no-treatment control. The subjects were 56 junior and senior baccalaureate nursing students, all of whom were women. A repeated-measures design was employed, with posttesting immediately following treatment and 3 weeks later. Learning was measured by means of a written test (Empathy Test) and an interview that was evaluated using the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory and the Carkhuff Empathy Scale. The treatment was effective for junior students but not for senior students, and only the groups receiving the rehearsal conditioning performed better than the control group. There was also an interaction between treatment and time, with juniors improving on the second posttesting. A secondary hypothesis about correlations between the instruments was partially confirmed, thus lending support to their construct validity. The Carkhuff scale was correlated with itself for both testings, with the Barrett-Lennard inventory for both testings, and with the Empathy Test on the second testing.
A conception of empathy based on an ordinary language analysis is presented. Within this conception, the nature of the processes and skills involved in any specific case of empathy are shown to depend upon particular dimensions of the situational context, the nature of the emotions involved in the empathee’s feeling-state, and the manner in which those feelings are expressed. It is argued that providing a comprehensive view of these dimensions and their developmental components is theoretically preferable to other approaches (such as the decentration view of empathy) which do not attend to the varying role of cognitive, affective, and social factors in different types of empathetic situations.Copyright © 1977 S. Karger AG, Basel
The purpose of the study was to develop a human-relations-modeled staff development program and obtain an objective measure of the level of empathy of registered nurses who practiced in an acute- and chronic-care hospital. The short-term human-relations-modeled staff development program was designed specifically to assist nurses who scored low in empathy to increase their abilities to perceive and respond with greater empathy. The study indicated that all nurses tested possessed an extremely low level of empathy, that the staff development program significantly raised their levels of empathy, but that more training was needed to enable all or the majority of subjects to reach at least the minimal facilitative level necessary to help another person successfully.
Nursing currently evidences concern with the development and clarification of its knowledge base. As a part of this focus, attention has often been directed towards concepts and methods of clarification. Although the method of concept analysis has been employed often to provide conceptual clarity, the foundations and implications of conducting an analysis of a concept have not been well explored in nursing. In this article, the philosophical foundations of the approach to concept analysis popularized by Walker & Avant (1983) are examined. Modifications of this method are offered, along with a framework for interpreting the findings of an analysis. The result is a view of concepts and an approach to analysis that may be of use in the clarification of a variety of concepts of interest in nursing.
Relationships between empathy and burnout and possible confounding influences of sex and profession were explored in a sample of 492 male and female nurses, social workers, and teachers. Respondents completed Mehrabian's Emotional Empathy Scale, Stotland's Fantasy-Empathy Scale, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). There were no main effects of profession on empathy or burnout variables. There was, however, an interaction effect of sex and profession on depersonalization, which was accounted for by subjects in social work and teaching. Women had significantly higher empathy scores than men; however, men had higher scores than male normative groups. Age related negatively to depersonalization and emotional exhaustion for women, whereas percentage of work time spent in direct practice correlated with depersonalization for men. The possibility that empathy and burnout might represent opposite poles of the same underlying construct was examined but not found. Instead, emotional empathy was significantly positively correlated with both emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment, whereas emotional exhaustion was also positively related to depersonalization. It is hypothesized that high emotional empathy may predispose helping professionals to emotional exhaustion and that emotional exhaustion, if not mediated by personal accomplishment, may lead to the development of depersonalization. This more complex, interactive model of the empathy-burnout relationship needs longitudinal study.