Qualitative insights into adapting an in-lab empathy intervention for use via videoconferencing with groups of nursing students

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Hoplock, Lisa
Lobchuk, Michelle
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Caregivers often feel neglected by health care providers who lack communication skills or make assumptions about them. Therefore it is important for health care providers to receive communication training and education about caregivers. Previous in-lab one-on-one pilot intervention work indicates that nursing students can improve their communication skills by learning about and practicing perspective-taking (i.e., understanding a person's perspective from that person's point of view). The present study tested the feasibility of providing the intervention via video-conference to nursing students at the group level. Studnets from remote locations learned about and practiced perspective-taking, and watched a brief video where a family caregiver actor discusses depression and close relationships with a trained nurse. Thematic analyses revealed several themes, including beliefs that the perspective-taking technique helped students to grow as a person, learn about caregiver issues, and better understand family caregivers' motivations. Students found the study to be an "eye-opening experience" and perceived the technique to be important for nursing success. We discuss challenges faced in adapting the intervention. Overall, the research demonstrates promise in adapting a one-to-one intervention for use with groups, and helping student nurses understand family caregivers' perspectives.
empathy, education, communication, caregivers, videoconference