The relationship between staff empathy and depressive symptoms in nursing home residents

  • Hollinger-Samson N
  • Pearson J
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Abstract

The associations between nurse-aide empathy and self-rated depressive symptoms were examined in a sample of 62 cognitively intact elderly nursing home residents (aged 65+ yrs) in six nursing home settings. The staff ranged in age from 21-55 yrs. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale. Nurse-aide empathy was measured from the perspective of the aide (resonated empathy), their supervisor (expressed empathy) and the patient (perceived empathy) using the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory Empathy Subscales. Resonated, expressed and perceived empathy were relatively independent of each other. Multiple regression analyses indicated that only perceived empathy was associated with residents' self-rated depression. The need to assess staff empathy in the nursing home, in conjunction with the specific role of the aide, as well as patient and staff perspectives on the importance of empathy, as they pertain to psychological outcomes, is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • N. Hollinger-Samson

  • J. L. Pearson

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