Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[Empathy research among nurses - comparison of the scales empathy: Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)]

NAGY Ivett Klára1, ÖREG Zsolt1

OCTOBER 30, 2016

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice - 2016;29(05)

[Aim of the research: comparison of the two internationally validated self-administered questionnaire (Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) (Hojat et al., 2001, 2002a, 2002b, 2003) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) (Davis, 1983) - during empathy research among nurses. Research and sampling methods: a quantitative cross-sectional study applying two internationally validated self-administered questionnaire (Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE)), as well as home-made socio-demographic survey, shared online. The online questionnaires have been completed by 101 nurses in different age, having different qualification levels and working currently in Hungary in different areas of health care. The sample consists of 91 women and 10 men nurses. 89 nurses work in hospitals in the sample, 7 of them work in health centre one of them is ambulance officer and 4 of them are home nurse. Results: The applied questionnaire is acceptable based on the reliability statistical analysis (Cronbach’s  0.798 and 0.817). The results of IRI show in scale exploiting the professional specificity. In case of Perspective taking the used scale range is 11-28, while in the case of personal distress it shrank to 2-22 interval (as long as the total range is 1-28). Average and standard deviation in each dimension are (s): EC = 19.4 (s = 4.26); PT = 18.5 (s = 4.26); FS = 17.23 (s = 5.32), and PD = 10.85 (s = 4.66). In the total range of JSPE scale the mean empathy level is 98.5 and the standard deviation is 14.425. The same correlation relationship turned up between these two questionnaires as the developer published. These underline profession specific dimensions with direct association of the patient care (r factor EC=0,507, PT=0,447). Most of the questions related to socio-demographic factors have not been verified. Relationship emerged between the gender and the IRI personal distress dimension and the empathy value of JSPE according to the assumption for the benefit of women. It appears in scale of JSPE in perspective taking factor primarily. The extra working time had no show link with empathy, but private sector workers’ empathic concern was higher. The religion as a sociological characteristics was represented in the fantasy scale dimension of the IRI with a significantly higher value. It failed to detect any connection between the empathy and satisfaction of needs. Conclusion: Based on the study the JSPE questionnaire is admissible in Hungary. Next to the IRI it can reveal the empathy dimensions major from the patient’s view and it can make so comparable the empathy levels in other similar research projects. The women’s higher emphatic level was verified, but the length of the practice, the qualification and other socio-demographic aspects need further investigation, their effect aren’t discovered even in the research literature. Researchers steady emphasize how important is the empathy in the patient care to improve the efficacy of which would be accounted in Hungarian postgraduate courses as well. ]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, Egészségtudományi Kar, Egészségügyi Diagnosztikai Intézet, Képalkotó Diagnosztikai Analitikus és Orvostechnikai Tanszék, Magyarország, Budapest

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