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Article

Self-Reported Assessment of Empathy and Its Variations in a Sample of Greek Social Workers

1
Department of Social Work, Hellenic Mediterranean University, 714 10 Heraklion, Greece
2
Department of Nursing, University of West Attica, 122 43 Athens, Greece
3
Department of Toxicology, University of Crete, 700 13 Heraklion, Greece
4
Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, 700 13 Heraklion, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Shailesh Kumar
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020219
Received: 30 December 2020 / Revised: 11 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 17 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout, Perceived Efficacy, Compassion Fatigue and Job Satisfaction)
The aim of the study was twofold: (a) to examine the way in which professional social workers perceive and apply in their practice the concept of empathy; (b) to explore sociodemographic factors, education/special training and work characteristics associated with their empathic skills. This is a cross-sectional study with a purposive sample of 203 Greek social workers. For the assessment of empathy, the Empathy Scale for Social Workers (ESSW) was used. The sample consisted mainly of female social workers with a mean age of 43.8 years. More than 70% of them were practicing the profession for more than 10 years. Nearly one-third participated in psychotherapy courses, and only half of them have been certified. On average, they reported high levels of empathy. Initial univariate analyses showed that empathy scores were significantly higher for older social workers, married, the more experienced, those who referred to working experience with disabled people or people having problems with substance use and the professionals who had obtained a certification in psychotherapy. ‘Having a middle work experience of 10–19 years’ was a significant correlate in all scales and related negatively to empathy indicating a burnout effect. The implications for social work education and future training are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: empathy; healthcare professionals; social workers; empathy scale for social workers (ESSW); Greece empathy; healthcare professionals; social workers; empathy scale for social workers (ESSW); Greece
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moudatsou, M.; Stavropoulou, A.; Alegakis, A.; Philalithis, A.; Koukouli, S. Self-Reported Assessment of Empathy and Its Variations in a Sample of Greek Social Workers. Healthcare 2021, 9, 219. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020219

AMA Style

Moudatsou M, Stavropoulou A, Alegakis A, Philalithis A, Koukouli S. Self-Reported Assessment of Empathy and Its Variations in a Sample of Greek Social Workers. Healthcare. 2021; 9(2):219. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020219

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moudatsou, Maria, Areti Stavropoulou, Athanasios Alegakis, Anastas Philalithis, and Sofia Koukouli. 2021. "Self-Reported Assessment of Empathy and Its Variations in a Sample of Greek Social Workers" Healthcare 9, no. 2: 219. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020219

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