The Impact of Patient and Family Advisors on Critical Care Nurses' Empathy

Academic Article


  • Objective The objective of this study was to determine if patient and family advisors' PFAs collaboration in an educational program could increase the empathy levels of intensive care unit ICU nurses. Background Data suggest that nurse empathy is on the decline. Ensuring that nurses consistently empathize with patients and families helps create positive patient experiences. Methods Thirty nurses participated in a PFA-designed educational intervention using simulation-based role playing. The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire TEQ was used to measure empathy before and after the intervention. Results The TEQ empathy scores increased significantly after nurses completed the PFA-designed educational program. Younger nurses <30 years improved on average 3.03 ± 3.6 points compared with older nurses >30 years, who improved, on average, only 0.43 ± 2.06 points t24.4 = 2.46, P =.021. For the changes in TEQ scores from preintervention to postintervention, age was significantly associated with improvements in TEQ scores. Conclusions Patient and family advisors can positively impact empathy among ICU nurses.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cosper P; Kaplow R; Moss J
  • Start Page

  • 622
  • End Page

  • 628
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 12