Gender and Behaviour

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Do gender, job status and education influence empathy? A quantitative study of professional nurses in a Nigerian public hospital

Chibuzor Uchenna Onuoha, Erhabor Sunday Idemudia


Healthcare professionals’ empathy is a crucial component of quality patient care. Using a non-probability convenience sample of 192 mixed gender participants, this study examined gender, job status and education influence on empathy among professional nurses in a general hospital. The sample comprised 63 male and 129 female full-time nurses in a large tertiary public hospital in Nigeria. Participants completed a short self-report questionnaire that measured empathic behaviour (Lamberton, Leana, & Williams, 2015) and a nurse practitioner socio-demographic form which were used to collect data. Hypotheses were tested with independent samples t-test and One-Way ANOVA. Results indicated that gender (p >.05), job status (p >.05) and education (p >.05) had no significant influence on levels of empathy. The study concludes that professional nurses did not differ on levels of empathy, and provide further evidence of the need for less emphasis on personal attributes, particularly gender, job status and education when training to improve levels of empathy among professional nurses.

Keywords: gender, job status, education, empathy, professional nurses

AJOL African Journals Online