Factors associated with empathy among midwives working in obstetrics and gynecology department of Mulago hospital Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: Empathy is an essential component of a caring relationship and especially critical to the provision of quality midwifery care. It enables health care professionals to identify and understand patient‘s experiences, concerns and perspectives. Empathy is also fundamental to the health care provider-patient relationship. There is limited evidence about midwives empathy level and associated factors. Objective: The major purpose of the study was to assess factors associated with empathy among midwives working in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGY) Department of Mulago Hospital, Kampala Uganda. Methodology: A cross sectional study was carried out among 185 midwives. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy–Health Professional (JSE-HP), a valid and a reliable self-report scale was used. Descriptive statistical analysis, cross tabulation and logistic regression were used in the analysis. The resulting mean empathy scores were analyzed alongside personal and work related factors. Results: The study found that the level of empathy among midwives is slightly above average. Only 53 percent of the participants scored above the mean empathy score. Personal factors including the place of work (labour suite or clinic/wards/theatre) where the midwife worked were significantly associated with empathy scores (X2=11.260, P=0.046). Similarly and the years of experience in the current OBGY unit was associated with empathy scores (P=0.050, OR 2.131, CI0.980-4.632). Heavy workload was identified as work related factor, significantly associated with empathy score of midwives (P=0.037). Other work related factors identified to influence empathy among midwives were motivation (P=0.08), and work environment (P=0.07). Conclusion: The unit where a midwife worked, years of experience working in OBGY unit and workload were significantly associated with midwives‘ empathy. Working environment needs to be improved in order to enhance the midwives‘ empathy.