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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2017; 14: 33.
Published online December 27, 2017.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2017.14.33
[Epub ahead of print]
Measurement of clinical empathy using Jefferson Scale of Empathy – Student Version in medical students in India
Anirban Chatterjee1  , Rajkrishna Ravikumar1  , Satendra Singh2  , Pranjal Singh Chauhan3  , Manu Goel3 
1Department of Community Medicine, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Dilshad Garden, Delhi, India
2Department of Physiology, UCMS and GTB Hospital, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India
3UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India
Correspondence  Anirban Chatterjee ,Email: dranirban1986@gmail.com
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: December 5, 2017  Accepted after revision: December 27, 2017
Abstract
Purpose:
The purpose of the study is to assess the clinical empathy and various associated factors of a cohort of medical students spanning all semesters.
Method:
A cross-sectional study to assess the empathy of all undergraduate medical students studying in a medical college in Delhi, was conducted using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy – Student version (JSE-S). Demographic data was obtained using a pre-tested, semi open-ended questionnaire.
Results:
A participation rate of 69.7% was observed. The mean empathy score was found to be 96.01 with a standard deviation of 14.56. The empathy scores were found to decrease, from the first to the third semester, plateauing at the seventh semester before rising again in the ninth semester. Empathy was found to be significantly associated with gender of the participant, with females having a higher score. The age of the participant, place of residence, decision to join MBBS, and choice of future specialty were not significantly associated with their empathy scores.
Conclusion:
The study found significant gender differences in empathy levels of the participants. The empathy scores tend to decline initially and then rebound over time. The mean empathy levels found in this study are lower than most similar studies around the world and therefore require further studies to analyze and address the underlying factors associated with it.
Keywords: Empathy, Medical students, India
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