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DESIGN FACTORS IN BUILDING A COMPASSION INTERVENTION

M. Durkin, R. Gurbutt, J. Carson

University of Bolton (UNITED KINGDOM)
Compassion in nursing is an important moral virtue that forms the basis of ethical guidelines for practice (Dietze & Orb, 2000; Armstrong, 2000). However, identified compassion failures (UK) (Francis, 2013) have led to a renewed interest in championing it across nurse education programs. Debate exists as to whether compassion is an innate quality or something that can actually be taught (Bray et al, 2014; Johnson, 2013). Some argue that it can be taught combined with reflective practice, and should be even though evidence exists of it being overlooked in preregistration education (Benbow, 2016; Bramley & Matiti, 2014; Sinclair et al., 2010).

This paper reports on the design considerations for a self-evaluation online tool (built using Articulate) incorporating a compassionate strengths scale and patient case scenarios to assist nursing students in developing their strengths of compassion. The compassion strengths scale is employed as a tool for learners to self-evaluate areas where their compassion is strong and areas where development can occur. In this way it focus on what learners have rather than a deficit approach to build on the strong qualities and grow in areas where it is less so. A reference group of students also inform the content development and evaluate the functionality of the tool. The design is research informed (primary research) and pedagogically designed around a reflective model and collaboratively developed with academic, student and patient group contributions.

The purpose of the tool is to be used as an online curriculum intervention blended with classroom teaching content. Compassion is relevant all nursing practice and the tool is designed to include discipline specific case examples. It facilitates accessible education at a time place and pace according to learner requirements working in practice alongside their learning. The tool supports student’s development of lifelong learning and reflective self-evaluation of their compassion strengths. Overall the design is a unique approach employing content creation software to champion compassion education in nursing practice that could also be a basis for developing an Interprofessional learning approach with a wider stakeholder group