Posters

Discipline Track

Clinical Science

Abstract

Introduction: Reduction in empathy has been explored in medical students (MS). Questions remain on whether significant changes in empathy occur during MS education.

Objective: Focusing on studies using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy medical student version (JSE-S), the authors aimed to quantify and assess reported changes across reviewed literature.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed using PRISMA guidelines. Criteria for inclusion were articles 1) written in English, 2) pertained to human subjects, and 3) written in the previous ten years (2009-2019). Exclusion criteria were those that 1) did not assess MS, 2) did not utilize the JSE-S, 3) did not compare empathy scores from JSE-S between class years, 4) contained an interventional program or course aimed to maintain/improve empathy, 5) were systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or dissertations.

Results: Thirty-nine of 448 articles met the criteria. Overall, no significant reduction in empathy was found across all nations (mean difference 0.09; p=0.8930). Stratifying by nationality, JSE-S scores of US-based MS declined slightly, while MS in other countries increased slightly from baseline (mean change -1.13; p=0.0265 vs. 0.38 units; p=0.6311). 37 of 39 articles compared JSE-S scores between female and male MS, and a majority of the articles (78.4%) reported higher scores for female than males.

Conclusions: The analysis supports that no significant empathy changes by JSE-S scores were noted in MS worldwide from baseline. Although evidence supports that empathy declined among US-based MS, no material difference was detected. This supports the notion that rigorous medical education curriculae does not necessarily curtail empathy among medical students.

Presentation Type

Poster

Academic Level

Medical Student

Mentor/PI Department

Surgery

Share

COinS
 

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Empathy Changes In Medical Students During Medical Education

Introduction: Reduction in empathy has been explored in medical students (MS). Questions remain on whether significant changes in empathy occur during MS education.

Objective: Focusing on studies using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy medical student version (JSE-S), the authors aimed to quantify and assess reported changes across reviewed literature.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed using PRISMA guidelines. Criteria for inclusion were articles 1) written in English, 2) pertained to human subjects, and 3) written in the previous ten years (2009-2019). Exclusion criteria were those that 1) did not assess MS, 2) did not utilize the JSE-S, 3) did not compare empathy scores from JSE-S between class years, 4) contained an interventional program or course aimed to maintain/improve empathy, 5) were systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or dissertations.

Results: Thirty-nine of 448 articles met the criteria. Overall, no significant reduction in empathy was found across all nations (mean difference 0.09; p=0.8930). Stratifying by nationality, JSE-S scores of US-based MS declined slightly, while MS in other countries increased slightly from baseline (mean change -1.13; p=0.0265 vs. 0.38 units; p=0.6311). 37 of 39 articles compared JSE-S scores between female and male MS, and a majority of the articles (78.4%) reported higher scores for female than males.

Conclusions: The analysis supports that no significant empathy changes by JSE-S scores were noted in MS worldwide from baseline. Although evidence supports that empathy declined among US-based MS, no material difference was detected. This supports the notion that rigorous medical education curriculae does not necessarily curtail empathy among medical students.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.