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Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2017 May;9(3):498-503. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2016.12.003. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Impact of a fictional reading intervention on empathy development in student pharmacists.

Author information

1
Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, 203 Pharmacy Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, United States. Electronic address: karincollins1@gmail.com.
2
Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, 203 Pharmacy Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, United States. Electronic address: Ann.Zweber@oregonstate.edu.
3
Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, 203 Pharmacy Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, United States. Electronic address: Adriane.Irwin@oregonstate.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Determine the impact of a short longitudinal literary fiction intervention on empathy development in student pharmacists as measured by the Jefferson Scale of Empathy - Health Profession Students (JSE-HPS) version.

METHODS:

Twenty-one student pharmacists were randomized to an intervention consisting of reading short excerpts of literary fiction over eight weeks (n=11) or a control group not participating in the intervention (n=10). Both groups completed the JSE-HPS at baseline and completion of the literary intervention. Categorical data were compared using a chi-square or Fisher's exact test, and continuous data were compared using paired or independent t-tests for within and across group comparisons respectively.

RESULTS:

JSE-HPS scores increased in the intervention group (112.1±10.7 to 116.1±7.4; p=0.201) while they decreased in the control group (118.7±12.6 to 113.0±15.9; p=0.188). Changes across groups were not statistically significant (p=0.061).

CONCLUSIONS:

Students randomized to an eight-week literature intervention demonstrated a non-statistically significant increase in empathy as measured by the JSE-HPS questionnaire. Similar increases were not observed in students randomized to a control group. As a result, this intervention may represent a novel way to foster empathy in student pharmacists using an intervention requiring few resources. Further research is needed with larger sample sizes, ideally across multiple institutions, in order to validate the effectiveness of this intervention.

KEYWORDS:

Empathy; Empathy training; Fiction; Pharmacy education; Pharmacy students

PMID:
29233291
DOI:
10.1016/j.cptl.2016.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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