gms | German Medical Science

15. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Teaching and Learning – Expanding our Resources

28. - 30. April 2011 Wien, Österreich

A plea for a wider perspective on international research findings in order to better compare medical students' attitude towards physician empathy

Poster

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  • corresponding author Ingrid Preusche - Medizinische Universität Wien, Department für med. Aus- und Weiterbildung Wien, Österreich
  • author Michaela Wagner-Menghin - Medizinische Universität Wien, Department für med. Aus- und Weiterbildung Wien, Österreich

15. Grazer Konferenz – Qualität der Lehre: Teaching and Learning – expanding our resources. Wien, Österreich, 28.-30.04.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc11grako37

DOI: 10.3205/11grako37, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11grako375

Published: April 25, 2012

© 2012 Preusche et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en). You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.


Poster

Empathy in physician-patient-relationships is doubtlessly a hot topic in current international research. Thus, self-rating scales like the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy for Students (JSPE-S) are developed and often translated and adapted to different languages (e.g. for Japanese [1], Korean [2], Iranian [3], and Polish [4] samples). Recently, a German version of the JSPE-S was developed at the Medical University of Vienna (n=516 2nd year medical students) [5]. Study results on equivalence of psychometric properties of these international versions in regard to the US- version are satisfying. However, significant differences in the mean total scores are obvious. To illustrate these differences, we used t-tests on the mean total scores of the German JSPE-S version and the other versions (including the original). The differences between Austrian medical students’ and international students’attitude towards physician empathy (with little to moderate effect sizes) are interpreted in the light of variation regarding cultural aspects, drawn sample and local specifics of medical curricula.

Take home message: In international research (on attitude towards empathy) it is not sufficient just to report scores and differences, but rather to highlight cultural and educational variables that might affect the scores.


References

1.
Kataoka HU, Koide N, Ochi K, Hojat M, Gonnella JS. Measurement of Empathy Among Japanese Medical Students: Psychometrics and Score Differences by Gender and Level of Medical Education. Acad Med. 2009;84(9):1192-1197. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181b180d4 External link
2.
Roh MS, Hahm BJ, Lee DH, Suh DH. Evaluation of Empathy Among Korean Medical Students: ACross-Sectional Study Using the Korean Version of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy. Teach Learn Med. 2010;22(3):167-171. DOI: 10.1080/10401334.2010.488191 External link
3.
Rahimi-Madiseh M, Tavakol M, Dennick R, Nasiri J. Empathy in Iranian medical students: A preliminary psychometric analysis and differences by gender and year of medical school. Med Teach. 2010;32:e471-e478. DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2010.509419 External link
4.
Kliszcz J, Nowicka-Sauer K, Trzeciak B, Nowak P, Sadowska A. Empathy in health care providers - validation study of the Polish version of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy. Adv Med Scien. 2006;51:219-225.
5.
Preusche I, Wagner-Menghin M. Rising to the challenge: Psychometric evaluation of the adapted German Version of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy for Students (JSPE-S). Teach Learn Med. submitted.