Jordan Journal of Nursing Research
Enhancing Empathy in Nursing Education: A Feasibility and Usability Study of Virtual Reality-Based Training for Dementia Care


Asem Abdalrahim; Abdullah Alkhawaldeh; Mohammed ALBashtawy; Manar AlAzzam; Mohammad Suliman;



Introduction: Virtual Reality (VR) is recognized as a versatile training tool across various domains, including healthcare. In Jordan, dementia is a significant public health concern, accounting for 5.17% of all recorded deaths. Given the complex nature of dementia care, preparing nursing students is crucial. This paper explores the feasibility and effectiveness of  VR-based empathy training for nursing students, with a growing global interest in VR training applications, despite the need for further study of VR acceptability in the Jordanian context. Methods: This mixed-methods study included 71 nursing students in a psychiatric course at a university in Jordan. Feasibility was assessed through recruitment, retention, adherence, data completion, and implementation fidelity. Pre- and post-intervention assessments measured empathy levels. Thematic analysis of participant feedback provided insights into usability. Results: Recruitment and retention rates were excellent, with a 100% participation rate and 100% retention. The intervention demonstrated a statistically significant enhancement in empathy scores following the program (M_pre = 50.44, SD_pre = 9.24; M_post = 65.17, SD_post = 8.53), t(71) = -23.89, p < 0.001. The thematic analysis highlighted the importance of a user-friendly interface, a supportive learning environment, and engaging content. Conclusion: This study highlights the potential of VR-based training to enhance empathy among nursing students in the context of dementia care. The robust feasibility outcomes and positive user experiences suggest that VR technology can be a valuable addition to nursing curricula, ultimately benefiting patient care and the nursing workforce. Implications for Nursing:  Integrating VR into nursing education presents the potential for elevating empathy in nursing students, notably within dementia care. This innovative approach equips prospective healthcare providers with vital skills for delivering more compassionate patient care.


Dementia, Nursing education, Empathy, Virtual reality, Feasibility studies, Patient-centered care