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with a sample of 214 undergraduate nursing students who completed the Jefferson
Scale of Empathy at the beginning and at the end of 2006-2007 academic year. Data
were collected using a questionnaire. Results showed a statistically significant
decline of empathy for nursing students who were exposed more than others to patient
encounters during study period (F (2, 211) = 4.2, p< 0.01). Findings were consistent
with those found among medical students in that nursing students' encounters with
patients, though not very clear on those who had less encounters with clients. The
authors suggested that changes to the modalities of teaching may be contributing
a disconnect in human connections, due to an emphasis on self-directed and simulated
learning experiences. Further studies to identify whether findings of the research
impacted on patient outcomes and nurse-students were recommended.
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