Background: Considering the importance of the two variables of stigma and empathy in the patients care with psychiatric disorders
and the impact of cultural conditions, there is evidence that these two variables have mutual effects. This study s objective was to determine the relationship between stigma and empathy towards psychiatric disorders
among nursing students.
Methods: Descriptive correlational method was used in this study. The sample consists of 155 nursing students who were attending mental health training at Mashhad Ibn-Sina Psychiatric Hospital; they were selected as available. The data collection tools was Jefferson Nurses Empathy
Questionnaire and the Kassam opening minds scale for Health Care Providers (OMS-HC). Data analysis was performed using descriptive and analytical statistics.
Results: Pearson correlation test showed that there was a significant linear relationship between the stigma total mean score (r=0.23, p=0.004) and subscale of stigma social responsibility (r=0.29, p<0.001) with empathy total mean score. The results of multiple regression analysis showed that only the stigma social responsibility subscale had a negative and significant correlation with the empathy total score.
Conclusion: The results showed that there is an inverse relationship between social responsibility of patients with psychiatric disorders
and empathy. Therefore, it is recommended that educational interventions considered in accordance with society culture in order to promote empathy and reduce stigma in nursing students.