International Journal of Caring Sciences, vol.8, no.1, pp.131-139, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Background: Oncology clinics are special areas in terms of interaction and communication with the patient. In
order to improve patient care, nurses working in these clinics need to develop their empathy skills. Nurses with
enhanced empathic abilities can understand the patient and provide the necessary assistance.
Aim : This study aims to measure and evaluate the empathic skills of nurses working in oncology units.
Methods: The sample of the study consisted of 50 nurses working in the oncology clinics of two hospitals in a
Turkish city. The research data were collected through demographic information form and Empathic Ability
Scale. The data obtained were evaluated using the SPSS 15.0 package program.
Results :Of the nurses participating in the study, 82% were married, 50% had a bachelor's degree, and 42% had
chosen the profession through their own decisions. The research revealed that 50% of the nurses worked in
pediatric oncology and 40% had professional experience less than five years. The mean score for Empathic
Ability Scale in these oncology nurses was calculated as 147.7 ± 19. We found no statistically significant
correlation between the empathy scores and their socio-demographic characteristics, working units, tasks, and
duration of work in oncology (p>0.05). However, there was a significant relationship between the empathy
scores and choosing the profession through their own decisions (p<0.05).
Conclusion: In conclusion, we found that nurses with a bachelor’s degree, those who chose the profession of
their own accord, and those reported having difficulties in communication with patients had better empathetic
Key words: Empathy, nurse, oncology