Impact of increased digital use and internet gaming on nursing students' empathy: A cross-sectional study

Lee, Wan Ling and Rambiar, Puteri Nur Iman Muhammad Shyamil and Rosli, Nurin Qistina Batrisya and Nurumal, Mohd Said and Abdullah, Sharifah Shafinaz Sh. and Danaee, Mahmoud (2022) Impact of increased digital use and internet gaming on nursing students' empathy: A cross-sectional study. Nurse Education Today, 119. ISSN 0260-6917, DOI

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Background: The COVID-19 restrictions and quarantines had led to increased dependence and usage of digital devices for various human activities and internet gaming to the extent of risking vulnerable individuals to develop addiction towards it. Little is known on such risks among populations of nursing students and its impact on their empathy skills or trait. Objective: Determining the impact of digital use and internet gaming on empathy of nursing students undergoing remote learning during closure of learning institutions nationwide. Design: Cross-sectional online survey was conducted from October to December 2020. Settings: Two established public institutions located in Malaysia. Participants: A total of 345 nursing students pursuing diploma and bachelor nursing programs. Methods: Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ), Digital Addiction Scale (DAS) and Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short form (IGDS9-SF) were self-administered via Google Form (TM). Following principal component analysis of TEQ using IBM-SPSS (TM) (V-27), path analyses was performed using SmartPLS (TM) (V-3). Results: Despite the increased time spent on digital devices (delta 2.8 h/day) and internet gaming (delta 1 h/week) before and during the pandemic, the proportion of high digital users (1.4 %) and gamers (20.9 %) were low; and sizable asymptotic to 75 % had higher-than-normal empathy. Digital-related emotions and overuse of them were associated with lower empathy (beta =-0.111,-0.192; p values < 0.05) and higher callousness (beta = 0.181, 0.131; p values < 0.05); internet gaming addiction predicted callousness (beta = 0.265, p < 0.001) but digital dependence correlated with higher empathy (beta = 0.172, p = 0.009). Conclusions: Digital and internet gaming addiction potentially impact empathy. The negative impact of digital dependence can be attenuated by ``digital empathy `` - an emerging phenomenon becoming increasingly vital in digital health and communication.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: E-learning; Empathy; Digital empathy; Nursing education
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Nursing Science Department
Faculty of Medicine > Social & Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2023 08:06
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2023 08:06

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