Objectives: This quasi-experimental study assessed the effectiveness of two empathy enhancement programs on direct care workers of older adults living alone in South Korea.Methods: A total of 104 direct care workers participated in either a simulation-based program or a lecture-based program. Data were collected prior to and 2 weeks after the program implementation using self-reported questionnaires.Results: The lecture-based group had significantly higher levels of empathy compared to the simulation-based group. Pretest-posttest differences were found in the lecture-based group only, including higher levels of empathy and caring efficacy and lower levels of secondary traumatic stress and burnout.Conclusions: More studies are needed to identify helpful components of empathy enhancement programs to direct care workers working with older adults living alone. Also, a further randomized controlled trial study is needed to assess programs' effectiveness on older adults living alone and direct care workers.Clinical implications: A lecture-based empathy enhancement program can increase levels of empathy and caring efficacy of direct care workers working with older adults and decrease care workers' levels of burnout and stress. Training for direct care workers of older adults is needed to improve the empathy of direct care workers while reducing their stress and burnout.