Study: The Relationships Between Empathy and Burnout in Nurses

Empathy is essential in nursing, yet it remains difficult to define and measure and many nurses do not display empathy even if they possess it. Studies linking empathy and burnout are few, but the results generally favour the view that empathy is negatively correlated with burnout.


Using a fully quantitative and anonymous self-report questionnaire, this research adds to the existing knowledge about empathy and burnout in registered nurses. The research question was: What relationships exist between empathy and burnout in nurses? Validated and reliable measures were used in a survey of nurses working in two hospitals in April and May of 2012. Analyses were conducted using bivariate correlations, group comparisons, analysis of variance and multiple regression. This research was not part of any other study. 


Barry Kennedy,