1Student Research Office, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran
3Nursing Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran
4Statistics Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran
Background Empathy is essential in the process of nurse-patient relationships in oncology wards. The lack of a rigorous tool to measure empathy in oncology nurses makes the research difficult. Objectives Modifying a Persian translation of the Jefferson scale of empathy to create an Iranian version of the Jefferson scale of empathy-nursing student version R (JSE-NS version R), and to determine its validity and reliability in oncology nurses of Tehran Universities of Medical Sciences. Methods This is a methodological study with cross-sectional design, conducted in 2015. The translation and modification process was conducted according to the World Health Organization guidelines and an Iranian version of the scale was created. Different types of validity, including face and content validity together with construct and convergent validity were assessed. Construct validity was evaluated in a convenience sample of oncology nurses (n = 181) through confirmatory (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). By correlation assessment between the total score of the JSE-NS version R and the subscales of the interpersonal reactivity index (IRI), convergent validity was tested. Reliability was ascertained by assessing the internal consistency and stability of the scale. The data were analyzed using SPSS-13 and LISREL 8.8. Results Face and content validity of the scale was confirmed by an expert panel. The initial CFA did not show a three-factor structure of empathy, thus an EFA was run and a four-factor model with a grand factor was extracted. Subsequently, the results of the final CFA confirmed acceptable goodness of fit indices for the four-factor structure of empathy, and the scale explained 63% of variances in the data. Convergent validity showed a significant correlation between the total score of the scale and most subscales of the IRI (P < 0.001). Cronbach’s alpha value (0.86) and the ICC level (0.90) showed satisfactory results in oncology nurses. Conclusions The Iranian version of the Jefferson scale of empathy-NS version R is a psychometrically sound instrument, implying that it is suitable for measurement of empathy in oncology nurses.