J Korean Acad Soc Nurs Educ.  2018 Nov;24(4):406-414. 10.5977/jkasne.2018.24.4.406.

Clinical Practice Stress and Burnout in Nursing Students: The Mediating Effect of Empathy

Affiliations
  • 1Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Kyungpook National University, Korea. asansong@knu.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationships between clinical practice stress and burnout, and the mediating role of empathy in nursing students.
METHODS
A cross-sectional research design was employed. One hundred seventeen nursing students completed questionnaires on clinical practice stress, empathy (perspective-taking, fantasy, empathic concern and personal distress) and burnout in December 2017. IBM SPSS Statistics 23 was used and descriptive statistics, frequency, Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple regression were conducted. Baron & Kenny method and Sobel test were adopted for analysis of the mediation effect (personal distress of empathy).
RESULTS
The mean scores of clinical practice stress and burnout were 3.45 and 43.09, and perspective-taking, fantasy, empathic concern and personal distress of empathy were 2.67, 2.42, 2.64 and 2.19, respectively. The highest relationship between clinical practice stress and empathy was personal distress of empathy (r=.32, p < .001). Burnout was positively associated with clinical practice stress and personal distress of empathy (r=.22, p=.015; r=.51, p < .001). Personal distress of empathy demonstrated a complete mediating effect on the relationship between clinical practice stress and burnout (Z=3.22, p=.001).
CONCLUSION
These results showed that decreasing personal distress of empathy is important for nursing students, and may help in reducing clinical practice stress and burnout.

Keyword

Psychological stress; Empathy; Professional burnout
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