Project 1: Measuring compassion in nurses and other healthcare professionals: an integrative review

By Irena Papadopoulos and Sheila Ali


Compassion is an essential part of nursing practice. However recent high profile public enquiries have uncovered failings in the NHS and revealed a need for improved patient care. The aim of this study was to review the literature on the measurement of (‘culturally competent’) compassion in nurses and other healthcare professionals. An integrative review methodology was used. The literature was searched systematically, and six papers were included in the final analysis. Several overarching themes were identified as the main compassion elements being measured; these included empathy, recognising and ending suffering, caring, communication, connectedness and relationships with patients, competence, attending to the patient’s needs/going the extra mile, and patient involvement. The findings show that it is possible to measure compassion using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Further research is needed to develop and test a tool that incorporates all these elements of compassion and can be sensitively used by patients and healthcare professionals in multicultural clinical contexts.

Papadopoulos, Irena and Ali, Sheila (2015) Measuring compassion in nurses and other healthcare professionals: an integrative review. Nurse Education in Practice, 16 (1):133-139. DOI:


Project 2: An integrative review of the literature pertaining how compassion is perceived, taught, learnt and practised  by nurses in clinical environments

By Laura Foley and Irena Papadopoulos


Objective: To provide a synthesis of published research concerning nurse education and compassion in clinical practice.

Methods: This study used an integrative review EBSCO databases, (incorporating The Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, eBook Collection, Education Research Complete, E-Journals) CINAHL, PsychINFO, PubMed, Social Care On-line Ovid databases were searched.

Results: Compassion is fundamental to ethical clinical practice; it symbolises a commitment to acknowledge and respond to the suffering of the patient. Clinicians are faced with numerous structural, financial, and sociopolitical challenges when trying to deliver a compassionate service.

Clinical implications: Compassion is an integral part of nurse education in clinical settings. This research will add to the limited academic field on compassion and nursing practice. These findings demonstrate that more research and attention needs to be paid in this area.

Keywords: Compassion, nursing, nurse-training, student nurses, clinical practice, service users, patients, education, Nurse Educators