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: Background To provide patient-centred holistic care, doctors must possess good interpersonal and empathic skills. Medical schools traditionally adopt a skills-based approach to such training but creative engagement with the arts has also been effective. A novel arts-based approach may help medical students develop empathic understanding of patients and thus contribute to medical students¿ transformative process into compassionate doctors. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of an arts-making workshop on medical student empathy.Methods This was a mixed-method quantitative-qualitative study. In the 2011¿12 academic year, all 161 third year medical students at the University of Hong Kong were randomly allocated into either an arts-making workshop or a problem-solving workshop during the Family Medicine clerkship according to a centrally-set timetable. Students in the arts-making workshop wrote a poem, created artwork and completed a reflective essay while students in the conventional workshop problem-solved clinical cases and wrote a case commentary. All students who agreed to participate in the study completed a measure of empathy for medical students, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) (student version), at the start and end of the clerkship. Quantitative data analysis: Paired t-test and repeated measures ANOVA was used to compare the change within and between groups respectively. Qualitative data analysis: Two researchers independently chose representational narratives based on criteria adapted from art therapy. The final 20 works were agreed upon by consensus and thematically analysed using a grounded theory approach.ResultsThe level of empathy declined in both groups over time, but with no statistically significant differences between groups. For JSE items relating to emotional influence on medical decision making, participants in the arts-making workshop changed more than those in the problem-solving workshop. From the qualitative data, students perceived benefits in arts-making, and gained understanding in relation to self, patients, pain and suffering, and the role of the doctor.Conclusions Though quantitative findings showed little difference in empathy between groups, arts-making workshop participants gained empathic understanding in four different thematic areas. This workshop also seemed to promote greater self-awareness which may help medical students recognize the potential for emotions to sway judgment. Future art workshops should focus on emotional awareness and regulation.BMC Medical Education 11/2014; 14(1):247. · 1.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Empathy refers to a personality character that has a great role in communication with others. Thus, proper evaluation and education of empathy in medical students is important for medical education. Because previous studies had suggested that physician's empathy may reduce with clinical trainings, in this study we decided to measure the empathy score among medical students. This is a cross-sectional study conducted on medical students in the first to seventh years of their studies at Shiraz medical school (south of Iran) in 2010. We designed new Iranian version questionnaire of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy. Sample size was 260 students and the results were analyzed in SPSS, version 11.5 (statistical tests such as descriptive methods, t-test, and ANOVA) and p<005 was considered as the significant level. The empathy score decreased with increase in the students' age (p=0.001) and educational level (p=0.030). The overall rate of empathy score in basic science level (65.5±0.84) was more than that in the clinical level (55.5±1.78). The lowest empathy score was seen in the seventh year students (55.51) and the highest was in the first year students (65.50). Female students had higher mean empathy score (65.53) while it was 59.02 in the male students. In general, medical students in Shiraz University of Medical Sciences had low empathy level and this may be a cause for concern; as such we suggest a possible inclusion of courses on empathy in the curriculum.Journal of advances in medical education & professionalism. 04/2014; 2(2):88-91.
- Slovenian Journal of Public Health. 01/2014; 53(1).