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Improving the quality of patient care and healthcare staff wellbeing through an empathy immersion educational programme in New Zealand: Protocol of a feasibility and pilot study
journal contributionposted on 2022-01-27, 20:15 authored by Caroline HalesCaroline Hales, Krisztina DeakKrisztina Deak, Tosin Popoola, Deborah HarrisDeborah Harris, Mary RookMary Rook
Empathy is positively related to healthcare workers and patients’ wellbeing. There is, however, limited research on the effects of empathy education delivered in acute clinical settings and its impact on healthcare consumers. This research tests the feasibility and the potential efficacy outcomes of an immersive education programme developed by the research team in collaboration with clinical partners and a multidisciplinary advisory group. Healthcare worker participants in the intervention ward will receive an 8-week immersive empathy education. The primary outcome (feasibility) will be assessed by evaluating the acceptability of the intervention and the estimated resources. The secondary outcome (efficacy) will be assessed using a quasi-experimental study design. Non-parametric tests will be used to test healthcare worker participants’ empathy, burnout, and organisational satisfaction (within-group and across groups), and healthcare consumer participants’ satisfaction (between-group) over time. Despite growing interest in the importance of empathy in professional relationships, to our knowledge, the present pilot study is the first to explore the feasibility and efficacy of an immersive empathy education in New Zealand. Our findings will provide critical evidence to support the development of a randomised cluster trial and potentially provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of this type of empathy education.