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Nurse education
There is inconsistency in the effect of empathy training for healthcare professionals and students
  1. Karen Palmer1,
  2. James Hill2,
  3. Andrew Clegg2
  1. 1Research & Development, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, UK
  2. 2Health Technology Assessment Group, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr James Hill, Health Technology Assessment Group, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK; jehill1{at}uclan.ac.uk

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Commentary on: Bas-Sarmiento, P. Fernandez-Gutierrez, M. Baena-Banos. Correro-Bermejo, A. Soler-Martins, P.S. Torre-Moyano, SD.L. Empathy training in health sciences: A systematic review. Nurse Education in Practice 2020: 44. 1–13.

Implications for practice and research

  • There is inconsistency in the effect of empathy training for healthcare professionals and students.

  • There is a lack of alignment of dimensions of empathy training and outcomes being assessed.

  • There is a need for high-quality research focusing on important mediating factors for empathy training

Context

The concept of empathy dates back to the 1880s, with the German psychologist Theodore Lipps recognising empathy as the emotional appreciation of another’s feelings.1 It is widely acknowledged that empathy plays a vital role in health sciences, eliciting an effective way for healthcare professionals to understand the experiences of patients without experiencing that state themselves.2 Nurses may develop their empathic skills through lived or shared experiences (experiential learning) or arts methods of humanist learning, such as narratives, poems or role play.3

The examination of empathy interventions …

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Footnotes

  • Funding This report is independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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