The objective of this study was to determine whether empathy and occupational commitment significantly contribute to the emotional exhaustion of nurses. The sample group was 158 nurses from two regional Lithuanian hospitals, who completed self-report measures. A questionnaire consisted of 10 items reflecting empathy appearing on Davis (1983) Indi- vidual Reactivity Index, 4 occupational commitment items from Miller et al. (1988), and 7 emotional exhaustion items from the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Maslach, Jackson, 1981). Correlation analyses and structural equation modeling were employed to interpret the results. The results showed that nurses’ occupational commitment plays an important role in the degree of emotional exhaustion they experience. Nurses having more empathy are more likely to develop higher occupational commitment. In addition, it was found that higher levels of empathy and occupational commitment of nurses are associated with lower emotional exhaustion. Nurses who stayed in the profession longer developed stronger occupational commitment. Therefore, the conclusion was made that differences in emotional exhaustion among nurses may be explained directly by occupational commitment and indirectly by empathy and nursing experience.
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