J Korean Acad Soc Nurs Educ.  2015 May;21(2):237-245. 10.5977/jkasne.2015.21.2.237.

Factors Influencing Empathy in Nursing Students in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. seastar4@snu.ac.kr
  • 2College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose of the study was to explore the levels of self-awareness, assertiveness, life stress, and empathy in nursing students and identify influential factors on empathy.
METHODS
A predictive correlational design was used. The data was collected by questionnaires from a convenience sample of 319 nursing students in 2014 in Korea. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficients, and stepwise multiple regression.
RESULTS
The mean items scores of self-awareness, assertiveness, life stress, and empathy were 3.49, 3.02, 2.20 and 3.58, respectively, of a possible score ranging from 1 to 5. Empathy significantly differed by gender, grade, satisfaction with nursing as a major, and clinical practice experience. Empathy was correlated with self-awareness and interpersonal relationship stress. As a result of multiple regression analysis, empathy accounted for 20.1% of the variance by self-awareness, gender, clinical practice experience and interpersonal relationship stress. The most important factor was self-awareness, which explained 11.6% of the variation.
CONCLUSION
The results of the study reveal that strengthening self-awareness and relieving interpersonal relationship stress ought to be integrated in developing effective educational intervention for enhancing empathy in nursing students.

Keyword

Students; Empathy; Awareness; Assertiveness; Stressful life events

MeSH Terms

Assertiveness
Empathy*
Humans
Korea
Nursing
Surveys and Questionnaires
Stress, Psychological
Students, Nursing*
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