Culturally competent compassion:
A snapshot review of culturally competent compassion as addressed in selected mental health textbooks for undergraduate nursing students
By Irena Papadopoulos and Alfonso Pezzella
The recent scandals involving poor healthcare put nurses under the spotlight in an attempt to understand how compassionate they are towards their patients.
The aim of this article is to investigate how compassion is embedded in the textbooks of the undergraduate mental health nursing degree.
A snapshot review of key textbooks used, was conducted through the distribution of a list of textbooks and search terms to a panel of mental health teachers in four United Kingdom (UK) universities. They were asked to comment on the list’s completeness, and the terms’ suitability, comprehensiveness and sensitivity regarding culturally competent and compassionate care.
Relevant data were extracted independently by each author followed by meetings to compare and discuss their findings and engage in deeper levels of analysis.
The review found that despite the fact that few textbooks touched on a number of the search terms none of them directly addressed the issue of compassion or culturally competent compassion. This means that mental health undergraduate nurses may not be adequately prepared to provide culturally competent compassion.
Culturally competent compassion is not something we are born with. Imaginative teaching methods, good textbooks, good role models and opportunities to practice what one learns under supervision is required to nurture compassion in order to re-establish itself as the essence of nursing. Key textbooks need to be revised to reflect the virtue of culturally competent compassion.
The full article can be accessed here
Papadopoulos, I. & Pezzella, A. (2015). A snapshot review of culturally competent compassion as addressed in selected mental health textbooks for undergraduate nursing students. Journal of Compassionate Health Care, 2 (3), 1-7.