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Med Teach. 2011;33(5):388-91. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2010.530319.

A comparison of medical students' self-reported empathy with simulated patients' assessments of the students' empathy.

Author information

1
University Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. katherine.berg@jefferson.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Empathy is necessary for communication between patients and physicians to achieve optimal clinical outcomes.

AIM:

To examine associations between Simulated Patients' (SPs) assessment of medical students' empathy and the students' self-reported empathy.

METHODS:

A total of 248 third-year medical students completed the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE). SPs completed the Jefferson Scale of Patient Perceptions of Physician Empathy (JSPPPE), and a global rating of empathy in 10 objective clinical skills examination encounters during a comprehensive end of third-year clinical skills examination.

RESULTS:

High correlation was found between the scores on the JSPPPE and the global ratings of empathy completed by the SPs (r = 0.87, p < 0.01). A moderate but statistically significant correlation was observed between scores of the JSPE and the JSPPPE (r = 0.19, p < 0.05). Significant differences were observed on the JSPE and global ratings of empathy among top, middle and low scorers on the JSPPPE in the expected direction.

CONCLUSIONS:

While significant associations exist between students' self-reported scores on the JSPE and SPs' evaluations of students' empathy, the associations are not large enough to conclude that the two evaluations are redundant.

PMID:
21517687
DOI:
10.3109/0142159X.2010.530319
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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