Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Correlates of Empathy Level in Incoming Medical Residents in a Large Peruvian Hospital

Jeff David Huarcaya-Victoria, Jorge de la Cruz-Oré

Abstract


Background: Empathy is an important ability for interpersonal relationships, of special interest in the relationship between physician and patient. However, despite its importance, there has been very little work done on the study and evaluation of medical empathy in Peru.

Objectives: The study was aimed at evaluating level of empathy in medical residents entering Hospital Nacional Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen (HNGAI), a large hospital in Lima, Peru and at evaluating its correlation with some important contextual and developmental variables. 

Material and Methods: This was an observational cross-sectional study conducted on 107 incoming medical residents from a total of 142. The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) was used and sociodemographic, professional and academic variables were collected. An exploratory data analysis was performed with SPSS 20.

Results: The mean score of empathy level was 116.07. Although interesting rends were noted, no significant differences were found between level of empathy and specialty choice (“People-oriented”: 116.28 versus “technology-oriented”: 115.65; p = 0.837); gender (men: 114.74 versus women: 117.43; p = 0.341); and desire to study the selected specialty (desire: 116.37 versus no desire: 111.17; p = 0.333). Significant correlations were found between empathy level and “having a professional mentor for treating patients” (p = 0.024) and “affiliation to a religion”(p = 0.025). There was no significant correlation between level of empathy and age of the resident (r = 0.089; p = 0.373).

Conclusions: Residents who identified themselves as affiliated to a religion as well as those who had a professional mentor for treating patients obtained higher scores of empathy level. While the study reflected positively on the establishment of a research program on empathy, further studies, including longitudinal ones are warranted.


Keywords


Empathy, medical residents, medical education

Full Text:

PDF

References


. Decety J, Cowell J. Empathy, Justicie, and Moral Behavior. AJOB Neuroscience. 2015; 6(3): 3-14.

. Baron-Cohen S, Wheelwright S. The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism, and Normal Sex Differences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2004; 34(2): 163-175.

. Baron-Cohen S. Empatía cero. Nueva teoría de la crueldad. Madrid: Alianza Editorial; 2012.

. Halpern J. What is Clinical Empathy? J Gen Intern Med. 2003; 18: 670-674.

. Ubillús G, Sidia M, Rentería D, Reátegui C, Rodríguez C, Sotelo JM. La orientación empática en los estudiantes de medicina humana de la Universidad de San Martín de Porres. Revista Horizonte Médico. 2010; 10(2): 37-43.

. Gutiérrez-Ventura F, Quezada-Huerta B, López-Pinedo M, Méndez-Vergaray J, Díaz-Narváez V, Zamorano A, et al. Medición del nivel de percepción empática en los estudiantes de la Facultad de Estomatología Roberto Beltrán. Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Rev. Estomatol Herediana. 2012; 22(2): 91-99.

. Remón-Torres M, Remón-Torres M, Tataje-Lavanda M. Características del nivel de empatía hacia el paciente en internos de medicina de dos hospitales nacionales. Rev Méd Panacea. 2013; 3(1): 2-5.

. Bangash AS, Ali NF, Shehzad AH, Haqqi S. Maintenance of empathy levels among first and final year medical students: a cross sectional study. F1000 Research. 2013; 2: 157. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.2-157.v1.

. Magalhaes E, Salgueira A, Costa P, Costa M. Empathy in senior year and first year medical students: a cross-sectional study. BMC Medical Education. 2011; 11:52. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-11-52.

. Hojat M, Gonnella J, Nasca T, Mangione S, Vergare M, Magee M. Physician Empathy: Definition, Components, Measurement, and Relationship to Gender and Specialty. Am J Psychiatry. 2002; 159: 1563-1569.

. Hojat M, Gonnella J, Nasca T, Mangione S, Veloksi J, Magee M. The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy: Further Psychometric Data and Differences by Gender and Specialty at Item Level. Academic Medicina. 2002; 77(10): s58-s60.

. Delgado-Bolton R, San-Martín M, Alcorta-Garza A, Vivanco L. Empatía médica en médicos que realizan el programa de formación médica especializada. Estudio comparativo intercultural en España. Atención Primaria. 2016; 48 (9): 565-571 [consultado 10 Mar 2016]. doi: 10.1016/j.aprim.2015.10.005.

. Saucedo-Chinchay J, Bravo V, Guevara-Cotrina Y, Salazar R, Vásquez C, Diaz-Vélez C. Empatía en estudiantes de medicina humana de la Universidad Nacional Pedro Ruiz Gallo. Mayo-Junio del 2011. Rev Cuerpo Méd HNAAA. 2012; 5(3): 17-21.

. Hong M, Bahn G, Lee W, Moon S. Empathy in Korean psychiatric residents. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry. 2011; 3: 83-90.

. Park C, Lee Y, Hong M, Jung CH, Synn Y, Kwack Y, et al. A Multicenter Study Investigating Empathy and Burnout Characteristics in Medical Residents with Various Specialties. J Korean Med Sci. 2016; 31: 590-597.

. Hojat M, Mangione S, Nasca T, Cohen M, Gonnella J, Erdmann J, et al. The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy: Development and Preliminary Psychometric Data. Educational and Psychological Measurement. 2001; 61(2): 349-365.

. Alcorta A, González J, Tavitas S, Rodríguez F, Hojat M. Validación de la Escala de Empatía Médica de Jefferson en estudiantes de medicina mexicanos. Salud Mental. 2005; 28(5): 57-63.

. Manuel R, Borges N, Jones B. Person-Oriented Versus Technique-Oriented Specialties: Early Preferences and Eventual Choice. Med Educ Online. 2009; 14: 4. doi: 10.3885/meo.2009.Res00284.

. Harsch H. The Role of Empathy in Medical Students’ Choice of Specialty. Acad Psychiatry. 1989; 13(2): 96-98.

. Borges N, Manuel R, Duffy R, Fedyna D, Jones B. Influences on specialty choice for students entering person-oriented and technique-oriented specialties. Medical Teacher. 2009; 31: 1086-1088.

. Christov-Moore L, Simpson E, Coudé G, Grigaityte K, Iacoboni M, Ferrari P. Empathy: Gender effects in brain and behavior. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014; 46(4): 604-627.

. Schulte-Rüther M, Markowitsch H, Shah N, Fink G, Piefke M. Gender differences in brain networks supporting empathy. NeuroImage. 2008; 42: 393-403.

. Gonzales-Liencres C, Shamay-Tsoory SG, Brüne M. Towards a neuroscience of empathy: ontogeny, phylogeny, brain mechanisms, context and psychopatgology. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013; 37(8): 1537-1548.

. Cherry M, Fletcher I, O’Sullivan H, Dornan T. Emotional intelligence in medical education: a critical review. Medical Education. 2014; 48: 468-478.

. Ranjan P, Kumari A, Chakrawarty A. How can Doctors Improve their Communication Skills? Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2015; 9(3): JE02-JE04.

. Ahrweiler F, Neumann M, Goldblatt H, Hahn E, Scheffer C. Determinants of physician empathy during medical education: hypothetical conclusions from an exploratory qualitative Survey of practicing physicians. BMC Medical Education. 2014; 14: 122.

. Kerasidou A, Horn R. Making space for empathy: supporting Doctors in the Emotional labour of clinical care. BMC Medical Ethics. 2016; 17: 8. doi: 10.1186/s12910-016-0091-7.

. Chen D, Lew R, Hershman W, Orlander J. A Cross-sectional Measurement of Medical Student Empathy. J Gen Intern Med. 2007; 22(10): 1434-1438.

. Ouzouni C, Nakakis K. An exploratory study of Student nurses’ empathy. Health Science Journal. 2012; 6(3): 534-552.

. Pawlikowski J, Sal JJ, Marczewski K. Physicians’ religiosity and attitudes towards patients. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012; 19(3): 503-507.

. Francis L, Croft J, Pyke A. Religious diversity, empathy, and God images: perspectives from the Psychology of religion shaping a study among adolescents in the UK. Journal of Belief & Values. 2012; 33(3): 292-307.

. Duriez B. Are religious people nicer people? Taking a closer look at the religion empathy relationship. Mental Health Religion & Culture. 2004; 7(3):249-254.

. Norenzayan A, Gervais WM. The origins of religious disbelief. Trends Cogn Sci. 2013 Jan;17(1):20-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.11.006.

. Shenhav A, Rand DG, Greene JD. Divine intuition: cognitive style Influences belief in God. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2012 Aug;141(3):423-8. doi: 10.1037/a0025391.

. Perales A, Mendoza A, Sánchez E. Vocación médica; necesidad de su estudio científico. An Fac med. 2013; 74(2): 133-137.

. Batley N, Nasreddine Z, Chami A, Zebian D, Bachir R, Abbas H. Cynicism and other attitudes towards patients in an emergency department in a middle eastern tertiary care center. BMC Medical Education. 2016; 16: 36. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0539-y.

. Hoonpongsimanont W, Murphy M, Kim C, Nasir D, Compton S. Emergency medicine resident well-being: stress and satisfaction. Occupational Medicine. 2014; 64: 45-48.

. Moltiva V, García M, Torres A, Puertas M, Zapata E. Empatía según la escala de Jefferson en estudiantes de Medicina y Enfermería en Venezuela. Inv Ed Med. 2015; 4(16): 223-228.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/ijpcm.v7i2.604

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.