Measurement of Empathy Among Japanese Medical Students: Psychometrics and Score Differences by Gender and Level of Medical Education

ArticleinAcademic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 84(9):1192-7 · October 2009with59 Reads
DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b180d4 · Source: PubMed
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.
    • "In addition, students should be given time and space to observe, acquire and demonstrate an empathetic disposition. However, it might be difficult to assess empathy because structured clinical examinations typically do not provide a wealth of opportunities to develop empathy [53]. We will return to the issue of evaluation later in this paper. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Medical schools have been making efforts to develop their own problem-based learning (PBL) approaches based on their educational conditions, human resources and existing curriculum structures. This study aimed to explore a new framework by integrating the essential features of PBL and coaching psychology applicable to the undergraduate medical education context. Methods A participatory research design was employed. Four educational psychology researchers, eight undergraduate medical school students and two accredited PBL tutors participated in a four-month research programme. Data were collected through participatory observation, focus groups, semi-structured interviews, workshop documents and feedback surveys and then subjected to thematic content analysis. The triangulation of sources and member checking were used to ensure the credibility and trustworthiness of the research process. Results Five themes emerged from the analysis: current experience of PBL curriculum; the roles of and relationships between tutors and students; student group dynamics; development of self-directed learning; and coaching in PBL facilitation. On the basis of this empirical data, a systematic model of PBL and coaching psychology was developed. Conclusions The findings highlighted that coaching psychology could be incorporated into the facilitation system in PBL. The integrated framework of PBL and coaching psychology in undergraduate medical education has the potential to promote the development of the learning goals of cultivating clinical reasoning ability, lifelong learning capacities and medical humanity. Challenges, benefits and future directions for implementing the framework are discussed in this paper.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016
    • "For example , the exploratory factor analysis yielded a five and four factors solution in the Japanese's and German's versions [22, 30], respectively. Consistent with Hojat's et al. [2, 5, 23] definition of the construct, researchers using the JSE-S often report and compare the global score of the JSE-S over the three dimensional scores [22,[34][35][36][37][38][39]. Nonetheless, factorial analysis yielding a more reasonable " correlated multi-factorial model " suggests that empathy is a multidimensional construct [40]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Empathy is a key aspect of the physician-patient interactions. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) is one of the most used empathy measures of medical students. The development of cross-cultural empathy studies depends on valid and reliable translations of the JSE. This study sought to: (1) adapt and assess the psychometric properties in Spanish students of the Spanish JSE validated in Mexican students; (2) test a second order latent factor model.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2016
    • "(Handford et al., 2013; Hegazi & Wilson, 2013; Quince et al., 2011) changes in empathy. On the contrary, the trends in studies conducted in China and Japan, were of empathy increases throughout medical school (Kataoka et al., 2009; Wen et al., 2013), while in South European and Latin South American countries, as well as Poland, present a trend of no variations or increase in empathy during medical school (Bravek et al., 2015; Costa et al., 2013; Duarte et al., 2015; Esquerda et al., 2015; Loureiro et al., 2011; Magalhães et al., 2011; Montilva et al., 2015; Silva et al., 2015; Thomazi et al., 2014). The study's limitations include the non-systematic nature of scoping reviews, and the lack of an analysis of the quality of the research reports (Schwellnus & Carnahan, 2014). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the increasing awareness of the relevance of empathy in patient care, some findings suggest that medical schools may be contributing to the deterioration of students' empathy. Therefore, it is important to clarify the magnitude and direction of changes in empathy during medical school. We employed a scoping review to elucidate trends in students' empathy changes/differences throughout medical school and examine potential bias associated with research design. The literature published in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French from 2009 to 2016 was searched. Two-hundred and nine potentially relevant citations were identified. Twenty articles met the inclusion criteria. Effect sizes of empathy scores variations were calculated to assess the practical significance of results. Our results demonstrate that scoped studies differed considerably in their design, measures used, sample sizes and results. Most studies (12 out of 20 studies) reported either positive or non-statistically significant changes/differences in empathy regardless of the measure used. The predominant trend in cross-sectional studies (ten out of 13 studies) was of significantly higher empathy scores in later years or of similar empathy scores across years, while most longitudinal studies presented either mixed-results or empathy declines. There was not a generalized international trend in changes in students' empathy throughout medical school. Although statistically significant changes/differences were detected in 13 out of 20 studies, the calculated effect sizes were small in all but two studies, suggesting little practical significance. At the present moment, the literature does not offer clear conclusions relative to changes in student empathy throughout medical school.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2016
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