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Keywords:

  • Concept analysis;
  • empathy;
  • listening

The concept of listening is acknowledged as an essential component of effective communication by many disciplines. Listening has always been considered a crucial component of nursing care, and its benefits have been documented in nursing literature. Certain characteristics that are essential to listening have been identified in all of the reviewed literature. These defining attributes include empathy, silence, attention to both verbal and nonverbal communication, and the ability to be nonjudgmental and accepting. In addition, listening is a deliberate act that requires a conscious commitment from the listener. Although listening is considered to be an important nursing intervention, it has not received the same consideration as other nursing skills. Very few tools are available to measure the concept of listening, and no tools are available to measure the patients' perception of nurses' listening skills. Research aimed at theory development should incorporate the concept of listening as an integral component of nursing care. Such research may provide a framework for the use of listening as it pertains to nursing practice. Finally, research is necessary for the development and validation of tools that may be used to evaluate the effectiveness of listening from both the nurses' and patients' perspectives.