Teaching clinical empathy to undergraduate medical students of Dehradun: A quasi-experimental study
Background:Empathy, the aptitude to resonate with others’ emotions,influences favourable doctor-patient relationship and treatment outcome. The clinical empathy comes a cropper for medical students as they stride towards the completion of medical course. Empathy is a docile characteristic; hence the lamentable dwindling of clinical empathy is amenable to prevention by specially designed targeted interventions.
Objectives:To evaluate any change in empathy level of undergraduate medical students after an interactive audio-visual teaching session on clinical empathy
Methodology:It was a pre-post quasi experimental study done on 328 undergraduate medical (MBBS) students of Dehradun by using Jefferson Scale of Empathy- Medical Student Version (JSPE-S) with pre-test and post-test separated by an interval of one month after an interactive audio-visual teaching session on clinical empathy.
Results:There was statistically significant improvement in overall mean empathy scores from 99.01(±12.9) to 109.33(±12.8) with a large effect size (Cohen’s d = 1.1). Statistically significant improvement in empathy level was seen irrespective of gender, age, MBBS year and area of interest for future speciality with large effect sizes of >0.8.
Conclusion:Clinical empathy can be improved during the years of medical education by specifically designed interventions.