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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2017 Mar-Apr;22(2):91-96. doi: 10.4103/ijnmr.IJNMR_79_16.

Contextual Facilitators and Maintaining of Compassion-Based Care: An Ethnographic Study.

Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research

Sima Babaei, Fariba Taleghani, Mahmoud Keyvanara


  1. Student Department of Adult Health Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Care research center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  2. Department of Adult Health Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  3. Department of Health Services Management, Social Determinate of Health Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

PMID: 28584544 PMCID: PMC5443002 DOI: 10.4103/ijnmr.IJNMR_79_16


BACKGROUND: Compassion is an important part of nursing. It fosters better relationships between nurses and their patients. Moreover, it gives patients more confidence in the care they receive. Determining facilitators of compassion are essential to holistic care. The purpose of this study was to explore these facilitators.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This ethnographic study was conducted in 2014-2015 with 20 nurses, 12 patients, and 4 family members in the medical and surgical wards. Data collection was done through observations and in-depth semi-structured interviews with purposive sampling. The study was carried out in 15 months. Data analysis was performed using constant comparison based on Strauss and Corbin.

RESULTS: Data analysis defined three main themes and eight subthemes as the fundamentals of compassion-based care. Nurses' personal factors with subcategories of personality, attitudes, and values and holistic view; and socio-cultural factors with subcategories of kindness role model, religious, and cultural values are needed to elicit compassionate behaviors. Initiator factors, with subcategories of patient suffering, patient communication demands, and patient emotional and psychological necessity are also needed to start compassionate behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study showed that nurses' communication with patients is nurse's duty in order to understand and respect the needs of patients. Attention should be paid to issues relating to compassion in nursing and practice educational programs. Indeed, creating a care environment with compassion, regardless of any shortcomings in the work condition, would help in the development of effective nursing.

Keywords: Communication; Iran; compassion; ethnography; nursing care

Conflict of interest statement

There are no conflicts of interest.


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