Comparing a self-administered measure of empathy with observed behavior among medical students.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Studies show that measures of physician and medical students' empathy decline with clinical training. Presently, there are limited data relating self-reported measures to observed behavior. This study explores a self-reported measure and observed empathy in medical students. METHOD: Students in the Class of 2009, at a university-based medical school, were surveyed at the end of their 2nd and 3rd year. Students completed the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy-Student Version (JSPE-S), a self-administered scale, and were evaluated for demonstrated empathic behavior during Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). RESULTS: 97.6% and 98.1% of eligible students participated in their 2nd and 3rd year, respectively. The overall correlation between the JSPE-S and OSCE empathy scores was 0.22, p < 0.0001. Students had higher self-reported JSPE-S scores in their 2nd year compared to their 3rd year (118.63 vs. 116.08, p < 0.0001), but had lower observed empathy scores (3.96 vs. 4.15, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Empathy measured by a self-administered scale decreased, whereas observed empathy increased among medical students with more medical training.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Empathy is paramount in the doctor-patient relationship being a comprehensive and multidimensional concept. Self-ratings of empathy change across the years of medical education only when the Jefferson Scale of Physicians Empathy is used, with a worrying decrease being found throughout the years in Medicine Schools. As there are only few studies on the factors influencing medical student's empathy, particularly of the curricular model, this study aimed to compare the levels of empathy of medicine students of two Schools with different curricular models in central Portugal, the Faculty of Medicine - University of Coimbra (FMUC) and the Faculty of Health Sciences - University of Beira Interior (FCS-UBI). METHODS:Cross-sectional observational study with the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy - students' Portuguese version (JSPE - spv) to 1st, 3rd and 6th year students of the 2017/2018 academic year with descriptive and inferential statistical analysis (p?<?0.05). RESULTS:Size representative sample of 795 students. Higher total empathy score (TES) (p?=?0.008) and "Perspective taking" (p?=?0.001) in FCS-UBI were found. JSPE-TES was higher in FCS-UBI, 3rd year (p?=?0.038). Higher FCS-UBI "Perspective taking" in the 1st year (p?=?0.030) and 6th year (p?=?0.044), for "Compassionate care" in the 3rd (p?=?0.019) and for "Standing in the patient's shoes" in the 1st year (p?=?0.018) and in FMUC for "Compassionate care" in the 1st year (p?=?0.037) and the "Standing in the patient's shoes" in year 3 (p?=?0.002) were found. Higher levels of empathy were found in FCS-UBI female students, for JSPE-TES (p?=?0.045) and "Perspective taking" (p?=?0.001). CONCLUSION:Higher empathy levels in FCS-UBI were found, with different results in the third year suggesting influence of the medical course teaching characteristics between the two Medicine schools, student's empathy levels being higher when earlier and more intense contact with patients accompanied by skilled tutors was developed.
Project description:Empathy is one of the essential components of physician-patient relationship that has a significant effect on treatment outcomes.The aim of this study was to assess the empathy score among medical students in Mashhad, Iran.In this cross-sectional study in 2015, 624 medical students at Mashhad University of Medical Science (Iran) completed the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE). Data were analyzed by SPSS ver. 16, using independent-samples t-test, Chi-square, MANOVA, Spearman correlation, and Confirmatory factor analysis.Of the 38.4% males and 65% females who participated in this study, the mean score of JSPE in the sample was 103.67 (±15.34) which was higher in women than in men. Also, the mean scores for each of the three factors of the scale were calculated. The total empathy score, compassionate care, and taking perspectives among different age groups were significant (p=0.000). Furthermore, students having high interest in their field were more empathic (p=0.008). Empathy of interns in relation to three areas of basic sciences (the first year, the second year and the first half of the third year), physiopathology (the second half of the third year, and the fourth year), and clinical trainings (the fifth year, and the first half of the sixth year), experienced significant reduction (p≤0.001).This study showed that empathy was higher in women in their first medical year and who were of younger age. The overall rate of empathy in the basic sciences period was more than that in the clinical period. Therefore, the initial exposure to clinical education, especially patient education and empathy, has a very prominent effect on the ability of medical students.
Project description:CONTEXT:Empathy is an essential aspect of clinical care, associated with improved patient satisfaction, increased adherence to treatment, and fewer malpractice complaints. Previous studies suggest that empathy declines during medical training. However, past research relied on a single narrowly operationalised, self-report measure of empathy. As empathy is a complex socio-emotional construct, it is critical to assess changes across its distinct components using multiple measures in order to better understand how it is influenced by medical training. METHODS:In a longitudinal study, medical students completed a series of self-report and behavioural measures twice per year during the first 3 years of their study (2012-2015). These included the previously used Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE), designed to assess empathy in the clinical context, the Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy (QCAE), designed to assess overall empathy and its main components, and behavioural measures of sensitivity to others' pain and understanding of others' emotions, both of which are important aspects of empathy. The employment of multiple measures allowed for a more complete assessment of medical students' empathy and related processes. RESULTS:In reflection of findings in previous work, students' empathy assessed by the JSPE decreased over training. However, on the QCAE, aspects of students' empathy, specifically overall cognitive empathy and its subcomponent perspective taking, and the emotion contagion subcomponent of affective empathy improved, whereas the remaining subcomponents remained stable. During medical school, students also exhibited comparable growth in their understanding of others' emotions and increased sensitivity to others' pain. CONCLUSIONS:Changes in empathy during medical school cannot be simply characterised as representing an overall decline. Indeed, aspects of empathy thought to be valuable in positive physician-patient interactions improve during training. Overall, this study points to the importance of assessing the distinct components of empathy using multiple forms of measurement in order to better understand the mechanisms involved in empathy changes in medical practice.
Project description:The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy is the most widely used instrument to measure empathy in the doctor-patient relationship. This work pursued cultural adaptation and validation of the original scale, in its health professions version (JSE-HP), for medical students who participate in an Early Clerkship Immersion Programme of a Spanish university.The questionnaire was replied by 506 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th year medical students from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid, in 2014 and 2016. Internal consistency was analysed by means of Cronbach's alpha, and reliability by means of test-retest using the intraclass correlation coefficient and the Bland-Altman method. The construct validity was checked by means of confirmatory factor analysis and association with other empathy-related variables. Criterion validity was compared using Davis' Interpersonal Reactivity Index.Cronbach's alpha was 0.82 (range 0.80-0.85). Item-total score correlations were positive and significant (median 0.45, p <? 0.01). The test-retest intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.68 (0.42-0.82). The factor analysis confirmed the three original factors: "perspective taking", "compassionate care" and "standing in the patient's shoes". Women and students who preferred specialities focused on persons obtained the best scores. The JSE-HP scores were positively correlated with Interpersonal Reactivity Index, personality traits were associated with empathy, clinical interview skills and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations.The results support the validity and reliability of JSE-HP applied to Spanish medical students.
Project description:Background:Empathy is an important element of the physician-patient relationship and is a critical personality trait for medical students. However, research has shown that it declines during undergraduate medical education. It is still unclear how empathy interrelates with the psychological elements of medical students, in particular, self-esteem. This study examined the relationship between empathy and self-esteem to explore other possible methods to improve medical students' empathy. Methods:A stratified sampling strategy was used to select 1690 medical students from 3 medical institutions in Shanghai as study participants. The questionnaires used to collect data included the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy-Student Version (JSPE-S), the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSES), and a self-made inventory on personal information. Descriptive analysis, independent t-test, One-Way ANOVA, and linear regression were used to analyze the data. Results:The mean empathy score among medical students was 102.73 with SD = 12.64. Multiple regression analysis revealed that, "age," "perception of the importance of empathy," "academic pressure," "desire to be a doctor after graduation," and "self-esteem" were significant predictors of empathy (P < 0.05) and the adjusted R 2 was 0.462. The correlation matrix between empathy and self-esteem was significant (r = 0.510, P < 0.01). Self-esteem explained 15.5% of the variation of empathy in the final regression model. Conclusion:There was a positive association between self-esteem and empathy. Self-esteem is one of many factors which contribute to medical students' empathy. Age, academic pressure, attitude toward empathy and future career also play a critical role in medical student empathy. Enhancing medical students' self-esteem may be an efficacious way to improve medical students' empathy.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>The purpose of this study was to quantify the levels of empathy amongst medical students in the first year and final year of the medical curriculum at a medical university in Karachi, Pakistan.<h4>Methods</h4>A cross-sectional study, comprising of participating students in their first year and final year of the medical curriculum at Ziauddin University Medical College, was carried out, using the Empathy Quotient (EQ) scale consisting of 60 questions through a self-administered questionnaire. The results were collected anonymously over a time period of six months from a sample of 171 participants. Results : According to our analysis, we found 82.67% of fifth year students and 80.21% of first years showing average or above average levels of empathy. Female mean scores were 42±9.60 while males were 38.7±9.358 (P=0.03). No association was found between empathy and age of the participants (p=0.77).<h4>Conclusion</h4>We found no significant difference in the levels of empathy between the first and fifth year medical students. However, it was shown that females exhibited higher levels of empathy than males.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Empathy is one of the vital personality attributes for all physicians. It is essential for establishing general interpersonal relationships among doctors and patients. Unfortunately, there is evidence for the decline of physician's empathy during the clinical training phase and is a major concern for medical educators worldwide. One of the major factors reported for the decline of this trait is an unprofessional learning environment. OBJECTIVE:This study examines the relationship between empathy level and perception of climate of professionalism among residents. METHOD:The study participants included 70 residents of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics departments of a private sector tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Two self-administered internet based surveys - Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) and "Professionalism Climate Instrument"(PCI) - were administered to assess the level of empathy among the participants and their perception of professionalism in the learning environment. The relationship between the level of empathy and professionalism was analyzed using Spearman rank correlation. RESULTS:The overall response rate was 81.4% with mean empathy level of 103?±?13. The internal consistency of each scale measured by Cronbach's coefficient ? was 0.76 for JSPE and 0.65 for PCI. No significant difference was observed in the mean empathy scores between senior and junior residents of both specialties. Statistically significant difference in empathy scores existed between female and male residents (p?=?0.012; 95% CI, 2.27 to 17.59). The mean PCI score was 106?+?8.88 with no significant difference among residents of two specialties. Professionalism score was not found to vary with either the year of residency or gender. Empathy score and professionalism climate were not found to be correlated (rs?=?0.56, p?=?0.64). CONCLUSION:The findings suggested that empathy is a relatively stable trait that remains unchanged during residency training programs. Female residents had higher empathic concern than the male trainees, however, the empathy level of the participants was not found to be influenced by the climate of professionalism.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Existing research has suggested that self-reported empathy in medical students is moderated by personality traits and diverse demographic and educational factors including age, gender, nationality, career aspirations, as well as year of curriculum. It is unclear how empathy, personality, and background factors might impact on students' attitudes towards professionalism in medicine. METHODS:A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in first and final year medical students at an Irish medical school. The following instruments were administered: (a) Jefferson Scale of Empathy; (b) NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI-3); (c) Attitudes towards Professionalism Scale. Demographic and educational variables were also measured. Descriptive and correlational analysis was conducted to examine the association between empathy, personality, professionalism-related attitudes and additional measures. Regression analysis was used to examine determinants of attitudes towards professional behaviour. RESULTS:Both selected NEO-FFI personality traits and empathy were independently associated with distinct categories of professional behaviour. Specifically, Openness to Experience was associated with higher empathy scores, and higher 'Social responsibility'. Extraversion was linked with higher scores on the "Personal characteristics" and "Interactions with team" categories, while Conscientiousness was also positively associated with "Personal characteristics". In agreement with previous studies, the personality traits most associated empathy were Agreeableness and Openness to Experience. Empathy did not vary according to programme year or career specialty preference. CONCLUSIONS:This study is the first to show that empathy and personality factors may act as determinants of students' attitudes towards medical professionalism in a manner which is dependent upon category of professional behaviour.
Project description:Self-directed learning (SDL) is defined as learning on one's own initiative, with the learner having primary responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating the effort. Medical education institutions promote SDL, since physicians need to be self-directed learners to maintain lifelong learning in the ever-changing world of medicine and to obtain essential knowledge for professional growth. The purpose of the study was to measure the self-directed learning readiness of medical students across the training years, to determine the perceptions of students and faculty on factors that promote and deter SDL and to identify the role of culture and curriculum on SDL at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.Guglielmino's SDL Readiness Scale (SDLRS) was administered in 2015 to six student cohorts (452 students) at admission, end of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of training, and at the beginning of internship in the undergraduate medicine (MBBS) program. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare SDL scores between years of training. 5 student focus groups and 7 interviews with instructors captured perceptions of self-direction. Transcripts were coded and analyzed thematically.The overall mean SDLRS score was 212.91. There was no significant effect of gender and age on SDLR scores. There was a significant drop in SDLRS scores on comparing students at admission with students at subsequent years of training. Qualitative analysis showed the prominent role of culture and curriculum on SDL readiness.Given the importance of SDL in medicine, the current curriculum may require an increase in learning activities that promote SDL. Strategies to change the learning environment that facilitates SDL have to be considered.
Project description:The objective of this study is to assess the association between levels of empathy and burnout of emergency professionals in all the assistance levels.A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in the health region of Lleida and the Pyrenees with 100 professionals from the field of Urgency. Participation reached 40.8%. Empathy and burnout were measured using the Spanish versions of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) and Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) respectively. The total MBI score and its 3 dimensions (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment) were analyzed. The JSPE and MBI scores were categorized into tertiles that were identified as "low," "moderate," and "high" levels.The median (interquartile range) was 112 (102-123) and 37 (27-53.5) for the JSPE and MBI scores respectively. Professionals with high burnout (MBI?47) showed the lowest levels of empathy, that is, JSPE score of 105 (98-114); those with moderate burnout (31?MBI?<?47) had a JSPE score of 114 (104.5-120.5); and those with low burnout (MBI?<?31) had a JSPE score of 120.5 (105.8-127.2). In addition, the highest levels of empathy were associated with the lowest levels of burnout, especially in depersonalization, and to a lesser extent in personal accomplishment. There were no differences in empathy and burnout for any of the other study variables.Our findings suggest that the empathy of emergency professionals is associated with burnout. Hence, reducing professional burnout could help keep emergency professionals' empathy levels high, which in turn would ensure a better quality of care. Nevertheless, it would be necessary to carry out prospective studies to describe the profiles of burnout and empathy as well as their association and evolution.