Background and aims: Communication is a key component of professional nursing care. This study aimed at evaluating the effects of empathetic techniques education for nurses on resilience and spiritual well-being (SWB) among mothers with preterm neonates in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Methods: This cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted in 2018 using a two-group pretest-posttest design. Main participants were 68 mothers of preterm neonates in the NICUs of Montazeri and Amin hospitals in Isfahan, Iran. Nurses in the intervention hospital (i.e. Montazeri hospital) were provided with empathy techniques education in five weekly sessions in one month. After that, mothers in both groups completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and the SWB Scale both at the time of their neonates’ NICU admission and at the time of their neonates’ NICU discharge. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software (v. 22.0).
Results: The pretest mean scores of resilience and SWB were respectively 79.74±12.78 and 175.6±11.95 in the control group and 78.0±16.9 and 176.67±16.0 in the intervention group. At posttest, these values were 78.32±12.12, 176.53±11.40, 92.0±13.77, and 186.0±12.5, respectively. Although the between-group differences respecting the pretest mean scores of resilience and SWB were not statistically significant (P>0.05), the posttest mean scores of resilience and SWB in the intervention group were significantly greater than the control group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Empathy techniques education is effective in significantly improving resilience and SWB among the mothers of preterm neonates in NICU. Therefore, this intervention is recommended for nurses in NICU.