Two approaches to assessing the influence of a patient story on perspectives of caring

Maggie Kirk, Juping Yu, Emma Tonkin, Karen Roberts, Rhian Morgan, Lisa Heledd Jones, Julie West, Gareth Parsons, Jay Beavan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The Francis report (2013) emphasises the importance of nurturing qualities such as caring, compassion and empathy among healthcare staff. Health professional education and training has a significant role to play in this.

The study aimed to identify an effective way of promoting empathy in nursing students and NHS staff using a patient story.

Two approaches were involved using a pre-post-test design. Approach 1 was a randomised control pilot study with nursing students. Participants were allocated to one of three groups (lecture only, lecture plus online story walk, and lecture plus hospital-based story walk). Their empathy levels were assessed at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and six weeks after using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) and a modified Empathy Quotient scale (EQS). Approach 2 was an audit with NHS staff. All participants took a hospital-based story walk and empathy levels were assessed at baseline and immediately after the intervention with EQS.

In total, 14 nursing students and 17 NHS staff completed the study. Overall, there were no significant differences in the effect of the three interventions on empathy among students over time as measured by either the JSE (F (4,22)=1.01, p=.42, η2=.16), or by the modified EQS (F(4,22) = 1.11, p=.38, η2=.16). No significant changes on empathy scores were observed over time among staff (pre-test mean=57.24, post-test mean=57.25, t=.48, p=.64). However, descriptive statistics indicated some trends among students. Those in the story walk group did not demonstrate an immediate increase in empathy score, but an increase was observed over the longer term; students in the online story group showed an immediate increase, which stabilised with only a small reduction in the long term; students in the lecture only group showed short and long term reductions in score.

Patient stories may be used as an effective training approach to promote empathy levels. The large effect size for the intervention group by time interaction suggests that with sufficient participants, differences in the effects of the three interventions on empathy over time could reach significance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2016
EventCwm Taf UHB Research & Development Conference 2016 - Conference Centre, Treforest Campus, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Nov 2016 → …


ConferenceCwm Taf UHB Research & Development Conference 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period24/11/16 → …


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