Empathy of intensive care nurses and critical care family needs assessment

P. A. Murphy, D. A. Forrester, D. M. Price, J. F. Monaghan

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31 Scopus citations


In this study we explored the relationship between the empathy of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses and their ability to assess accurately the perceived needs of family members of patients hospitalized in ICU settings. Thirty family needs were studied by using Molter's 1983 revision of the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory (CCFNI). Data consisted of 92 pairs of CCFNI responses obtained from 92 family members of ICU patients and 60 ICU nurses providing direct care for these patients. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the extent to which empathy and nursing experience contribute to accurate assessment of the needs of ICU family members. The more empathic ICU nurses were, the greater their ability to assess ICU family members' needs accurately on six of the needs studied (p ≤ 0.05). Length of nursing experience negatively affected the nurse's ability to assess three of the ICU family members' needs accurately (p < 0.05).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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