Original Article

Mediating Effects of Empathy on Competence of Korean Nursing Students

Abstract

Background: Empathic communication is important for nurses to establish therapeutic relationships with patients and to improve the quality of care. Thus, empathy is essential for nursing students who will be future nurses. The aim of this study was to examine the mediating role of empathy in the influence of communication competence on interpersonal competence of nursing students.

Methods: This study was conducted at the Catholic University of Korea. Participants were 218 nursing students who completed a survey questionnaire on general characteristics, Interpersonal Reactivity Index, Primary Communication Inventory, and Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire from Feb. 20 to Feb. 21, 2014. Data were analyzed using simple and multiple regression analyses. Mediation analysis was performed according to the Baron and Kenny method and Sobel test.

Results: A three-step regression analysis was performed to verify the mediating role of empathy in the relationship between communication competence and interpersonal competence. Results confirmed that communication competence significantly influenced interpersonal competence, showing that empathy had a partial mediating role (Z=2.40, P=.016).

Conclusion: Communication competence improved interpersonal competence through mediation by empathy in nursing students. Result of this study suggested that nursing schools should implement communication education that can strengthen empathy in order to boost nursing students’ interpersonal competence.

1. Arnold EC, Boggs KU (2014). Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses. 7th ed. Elsevier. St. Louis, MO.
2. Segrin C, Taylor M (2007). Positive interper-sonal relationships mediate the associa-tion between social skills and psychologi-cal well-being. Pers Individ Differ, 43(4): 637-46.
3. Hojat M (2007). Empathy in patient care: Ante-cedents, development, measurement, and outcomes. Springer. New York.
4. Jacobson NC, Newman MG (2016). Per-ceptions of close and group relationships mediate the relationship between anxiety and depression over a decade later. De-press Anxiety, 33(1): 66-74.
5. Shaukat R, Yousaf A, Sanders K (2017). Ex-amining the linkages between relationship conflict, performance and turnover inten-tions: Role of job burnout as a mediator. Int J Confl Manag, 28(1): 4-23. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-08-2015-0051
6. Kim HJ (2012). The effects of sociocultural attitudes toward appearance, appearance satisfaction, body-image, and self-esteem on interpersonal relationship ability of nursing students. J Korean Acad Soc Nurs Educ, 18(1): 62-70.
7. Chae MO (2016). Ego resilience, empathic ability and interpersonal relationship ability in nursing students. J Korean Acad Industr Coop Soc, 17(5): 95-103.
8. Park JW, Choi MS (2009). A study on self consciousness, communication competence, and interpersonal relation dispositions of nursing students. J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs, 18(3): 351-60.
9. Brunero S, Lamont S, Coates M (2010). A review of empathy education in nursing. Nurs Inq, 17(1): 65-74.
10. Burgess DJ, Hardeman RR, Burke SE, et al (2019). Incoming medical students' politi-cal orientation affects outcomes related to care of marginalized groups: Results from the medical student CHANGES study. J Health Polit Policy Law, 44(1): 113-46.
11. Heo NR (2015). A Study on interpersonal relation disposition, critical thinking disposition, and communication competence in undergraduate students in nursing. J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs, 24(1): 22-31.
12. Sadeghi M, Amiri H, Zarchi AK, Bahari F, Binesh A (2013). Effectiveness of solution-focused communication training (SFCT) in nurses’ communication skills. Ir J Military Medicine, 14(4): 279-86.
13. Boynton B (2015). Successful nurse communica-tion; Safe care, health workplaces, & rewarding careers. 1st ed. Davis Company. Philadel-phia.
14. Pfrimmer D (2009). Teamwork and com-munication. J Contin Educ Nurs, 40(7): 294-5.
15. Zavertnik JE, Huff TA, Munro CL (2010). Innovative approach to teaching communication skills to nursing students. J Nurs Educ, 49(2):65-71.
16. Han J (2010). Nursing students’ perceptions of clinical learning environment (CLE). Journal of the Korean Data Analysis Society, 12(5): 2595-607.
17. Park HS, Bae YJ, Jung SY (2003). A study on self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping methods, and the academic and job-seeking stress of nursing students. J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs, 11(4): 621-31.
18. Chung MS (2014). Relations in self-esteem, empathy and interpersonal relationship for reinforcing competence in communication of nursing students. J Korean Acad Soc Nurs Educ, 20(2): 332-40.
19. Park JH, Chung SK (2015). The relationship among self-esteem, empathy, communi-cation skill and clinical competency of nursing students. J Korea Acad Industr Coop Soc, 16(11): 7698-7707.
20. Jeong HS, Lee KL (2012). Factors affecting nursing students’ interpersonal relation-ship ability. J Korean Data Anal Soc, 14(5): 2635-47.
21. Faul F, Erdfelder E, Lang AG, Buchner A (2007). G*Power 3: a flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behav Res Methods, 39(2):175–91.
22. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
23. Buhrmester D, Furman W, Wittenberg MT, Reis HT (1988). Five domains of inter-personal competence in peer relation-ships. J Pers Soc Psychol, 55(6): 991-1008.
24. Han N, Lee D (2010). Validation of the Ko-rean version of the interpersonal compe-tence questionnaire in Korean college students. Korean J Counsel Psychotherapy, 22(1): 137-56.
25. Choi EY. The effects of a communication skills group on high school students' self-concept and communication ability [master's thesis]. Kosin University, Ko-rea; 2004.
26. Navran L (1967). Communication and ad-justment in marriage. Fam Proc, 6(2): 173-84.
27. Davis MH (1980). A multidimensional ap-proach to individual differences in empa-thy. JSAS Catalog Select Doc Psychol, 10: 85.
28. Baron RM, Kenny DA (1986). The modera-tor-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, stra-tegic, and statistical considerations. J Pers Soc Psychol, 51(6): 1173-1182.
29. Bloch JH. Self-compassion, social connect-edness, and interpersonal competence [master's thesis]. University of Montana, USA; 2018.
30. Ibrahim SAEA (2011). Factors affecting as-sertiveness among student nurses. Nurse Educ Today, 31(4): 356-60.
31. Kim MO (2016). Study on Self-efficacy, Communication competency, Critical thinking disposition and Clinical perfor-mance ability of nursing students. J Korea Acad Industr Coop Soc, 17(6): 609-17.
32. Park SH (2015). The impact of learning communities on academic self-efficacy, self-directed learning, communication, and cooperation abilities. J Lifelong Learn Soc,11(4): 115-36.
33. Caris-Verhallen W, Kerkstra A, Bensing JM (1999). Non-verbal behavior in nurse-elderly patient communication. J Adv Nurs, 29(4): 808-18.
34. Korean Accreditation Board of Nursing Education (2017). The manual of accredi-tation for nursing education in college. Korean Accreditation Board of Nursing Education, Korea. https://www.inqaahe.org/korean-accreditation-board-nursing-education
35. Ward J, Cody J, Schaal M, Hojat, M (2012). The empathy enigma: An empirical study of decline in empathy among undergrad-uate nursing students. J Prof Nurs, 28(1): 34-40.
36. Söderberg A, Sundbaum JK, Engström Å (2017). Nursing students' reflections after meetings with patients and their relatives enacted by professional actors: Being touched and feeling empathy. Issues Ment Health Nurs, 38(2): 139-44.
Files
IssueVol 50 No 4 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Published2021-04-05
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v50i4.5998
Keywords
Nursing students Empathy Communication Interpersonal relations

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
1.
Choi H-G, Kim H-J, Lee S. Mediating Effects of Empathy on Competence of Korean Nursing Students. Iran J Public Health. 50(4):737-746.