Feb. 16, 2024

UCalgary researcher pushes compassion measure internationally

Nursing professor Shane Sinclair sees translation of UCalgary compassion measure for health care into Spanish
Nurse assists elderly patient with filling out a form

UCalgary Nursing professor Dr. Shane Sinclair, PhD), and members of the Compassion Research Lab developed the Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire (SCQ), recognized as the gold standard for evaluating compassion in health care here in Canada for English and French-speaking patients in acute care, long-term care and hospice settings. 

But compassion is a universal construct that transcends borders and is internationally recognized as fundamental to quality care. A key component to enhancing compassion in health-care settings is having a reliable patient‐reported experience measure, now a reality for Spanish-speaking individuals, complementing the English, French and Mandarin versions of the SCQ. 

“Research, patients and system analysts identify compassion as an essential dimension of quality of care across cultures,” says Sinclair, who is also an adjunct professor in the Cumming School of Medicine

“Until now, we haven’t had the ability to measure it in a rigorous fashion on a global scale, especially beyond English-speaking populations.”

“The main objective of this study was to validate a Spanish version of the SCQ to further address this gap,” he continues, noting that the SCQ has been extensively validated across diverse English-speaking patient populations. 

“We completed a fairly large international study with 303 patients participating from various medical settings in Valencia, Spain to achieve this. The results are impressive and now Spanish health-care providers, researchers and leaders have the means to robustly measure compassion on a routine basis,” he says.

The open-access manuscript was recently published in the journal Research in Nursing and Health.  

Dr. Shane Sinclair

Shane Sinclair

Sinclair also notes this work is now being carried forward by his research colleagues at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who are further validating the Spanish SCQ (SCQesp) within an American Spanish-speaking population. 

Sinclair is acknowledged as a leading global expert on the topic of compassion. His Compassion Research Lab has evolved into a high-calibre team of researchers investigating compassion in health care and other sectors of society. 

“The SCQ was built on significant patient, health-care provider and researcher feedback,” he says. “We know the absence of compassion in health care has been linked to poor symptom control, patient complaints and adverse medical events, while its presence fosters greater emotional well-being, improved quality of life and greater satisfaction with the care received.

 “Ironically, however, patients often identify compassion as one of their most critical unmet needs. Expanding the SCQ to other countries and cultures will not only result in better care and outcomes for all, but will hopefully ensure that compassion is accessible to all.” 

To read the open-access manuscript Adaptation and validation of a patient‐reported compassion measure in the Spanish population: The Spanish version of the Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire (SCQesp), visit link below or read it on the Compassion Measure. 

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