Measurement of Empathy Among Japanese Medical Students: Psychometrics and Score Differences by Gender and Level of Medical Education
ABSTRACT To examine psychometric properties of a Japanese translation of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE), and to study differences in empathy scores between men and women, and students in different years of medical school.
The student version of the JSPE was translated into Japanese using back-translation procedures and administered to 400 Japanese students from all six years at the Okayama University Medical School. Item-total score correlations were calculated. Factor analysis was used to examine the underlying components of the Japanese version of the JSPE. Cronbach coefficient alpha was calculated to assess the internal consistency aspect of reliability of the instrument. Finally, empathy scores for men and women were compared using t test, and score differences by year of medical school were examined using analysis of variance.
Factor analysis confirmed the three components of "perspective taking," "compassionate care," and "ability to stand in patient's shoes," which had emerged in American and Mexican medical students. Item-total score correlations were all positive and statistically significant. Cronbach coefficient alpha was .80. Women outscored men, and empathy scores increased as students progressed through medical school in this cross-sectional study.
Findings provide support for the construct validity and reliability of the Japanese translated version of the JSPE for medical students. Cultural characteristics and educational differences in Japanese medical schools that influence empathic behaviors are described, and implications for cross-cultural study of empathy are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Introduction: The suggestion that empathy "declines" or "erodes" as students progress through medical school has largely rested on observations reported from Jefferson Medical College in the United States using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) developed by Hojat and colleagues. Now that the student version of JSPE has been administered to medical students in more than a dozen countries, it is timely to consider whether or not the Jefferson "case study" and the conclusions drawn from it are generalisable. Methods: A literature research was conducted on MEDLINE in mid-2014 to identify studies reporting administrations of the Student version of JPSE (JSPE-S) to cohorts of medical students and the means for studies and their sub-parts conducted in Japan, South Korea, China, Kuwait, India, Iran, UK, USA, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Portugal. Results: The means of these studies from a dozen countries outside the USA consistently cluster round 75% out of the possible maximum of 140 unlike the early Jefferson studies (although the later Jefferson means are also <120). Conclusions: These observations may support Costa et al.'s contention that "a latent growth model suggests that empathy of medical students does not decline over time" (p. 509) - or at least not significantly. But in order to understand the maturation process of medical students and trainees we need to develop more sophisticated, integrated models that combine culturally-sensitive concepts of emotional intelligence and moral reasoning with far more refined understandings of the nature of empathy required for the safe practice of patient-centred medicine.Medical Teacher 02/2015; DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2015.1009022 · 2.05 Impact Factor
Indian journal of pharmaceutical education 01/2015; 49(1):31-39. DOI:10.5530/ijper.49.1.5 · 0.22 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Professionalism is deemed as the basis of physicians' contract with society in Japan. Our study in 2005, using a questionnaire with scenarios to professionalism, suggested that many physicians at various levels of training in Japan encounter challenges when responding to these common scenarios related to professionalism. It is unclear how medical professionalism has changed among Japanese residents in over time. We conducted a follow-up survey about challenges to professionalism for Japanese residents using the same Barry Questionnaire after a seven-year interval from the prior survey. The survey uses six clinical scenarios with multiple choice responses. The six cases include the following challenges: acceptance of gifts; conflict of interest; confidentiality; physician impairment; sexual harassment; and honesty in documentation. Each scenario is followed by 4 or 5 possible responses, including the "best" and the "second best" responses. The survey was conducted as a part of nationwide general medicine in-training examination. We collected data from 1,049 participants (290 women, 28%; 431 PGY-1 and 618 PGY-2 residents). Overall, the current residents performed better than their colleagues in the earlier survey for five scenarios (gifts, conflict of interest, confidentiality, impairment, and honesty) but not for the harassment scenario. PGY-2 residents were more likely to select either the best or 2nd best choices to gifts (p = 0.002) and harassment (p = 0.031) scenarios than PGY-1 residents. Residents in the current study chose either the best or 2nd best choices to the gifts (p < 0.001) and honesty (p < 0.001) scenarios than those of the previous study conducted seven years ago, but not for the harassment scenario (p = 0.004). Our study suggests that there is improvement of medical professionalism with respect to some ethical challenges among the Japanese residents in the current study compared to those in our previous study.BMC Medical Education 12/2015; 15(1):313. DOI:10.1186/s12909-015-0313-6 · 1.41 Impact Factor