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Emotional and cognitive empathy in first-year medical students.

Dehning S, Gasperi S, Krause D, Meyer S, Reiß E, Burger M, Jacobs F, Buchheim A, Müller N, Siebeck M - ISRN Psychiatry (2013)

Bottom Line: The female students' mean BEES score was significantly (P = 0.0037) below the female norm of 60.Students who preferred a specialty with continuity of patient care scored significantly higher in the BEES (P = 0.014).This supports the inclusion of specific training in cognitive and emotional empathy in medical education.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Nußbaumstraße 7, 80336 Munich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Objectives. Doctors' empathy towards their patients is considered important for treatment outcome. However, during medical school there might be a decline in empathy called "hardening of the heart." This study evaluated the cognitive and emotional empathy in medical students and investigated the influence of a preference for a specialty and students attachment styles. Methods. 126 first-year medical students were included and completed the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test revised version (RME-R), the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES), and the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Adult Attachment Questionnaire (ECR-R). Results. Students identified 22 ± 4.30 of 36 photographs in the RME-R test correctly (norm: 26). The female students' mean BEES total score was 51.1 ± 17.1 and the male students' 27.2 ± 22.6; P < 0.0001. The female students' mean BEES score was significantly (P = 0.0037) below the female norm of 60. Students who preferred a specialty with continuity of patient care scored significantly higher in the BEES (P = 0.014). A more avoidant attachment style was associated with a lower BEES score (P = 0.021). Conclusion. The students showed low emotional and cognitive empathy scores and an avoidant attachment style. This supports the inclusion of specific training in cognitive and emotional empathy in medical education.

No MeSH data available.


Emotions correctly identified most and least often by the first-year medical students.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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fig1: Emotions correctly identified most and least often by the first-year medical students.

Mentions: In our sample, the emotion “friendly” was most often identified correctly (by 92.1% of the students; see Figure 1) and the emotion “defiant” most often incorrectly (by 29.4% of the students). Male students wrongly identified the emotion “pensive” most frequently (25.6%) (see Figure 1) and female students the emotion “doubtful” (25.0%).


Emotional and cognitive empathy in first-year medical students.

Dehning S, Gasperi S, Krause D, Meyer S, Reiß E, Burger M, Jacobs F, Buchheim A, Müller N, Siebeck M - ISRN Psychiatry (2013)

Emotions correctly identified most and least often by the first-year medical students.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3818892&req=5

fig1: Emotions correctly identified most and least often by the first-year medical students.
Mentions: In our sample, the emotion “friendly” was most often identified correctly (by 92.1% of the students; see Figure 1) and the emotion “defiant” most often incorrectly (by 29.4% of the students). Male students wrongly identified the emotion “pensive” most frequently (25.6%) (see Figure 1) and female students the emotion “doubtful” (25.0%).

Bottom Line: The female students' mean BEES score was significantly (P = 0.0037) below the female norm of 60.Students who preferred a specialty with continuity of patient care scored significantly higher in the BEES (P = 0.014).This supports the inclusion of specific training in cognitive and emotional empathy in medical education.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Nußbaumstraße 7, 80336 Munich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Objectives. Doctors' empathy towards their patients is considered important for treatment outcome. However, during medical school there might be a decline in empathy called "hardening of the heart." This study evaluated the cognitive and emotional empathy in medical students and investigated the influence of a preference for a specialty and students attachment styles. Methods. 126 first-year medical students were included and completed the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test revised version (RME-R), the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES), and the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Adult Attachment Questionnaire (ECR-R). Results. Students identified 22 ± 4.30 of 36 photographs in the RME-R test correctly (norm: 26). The female students' mean BEES total score was 51.1 ± 17.1 and the male students' 27.2 ± 22.6; P < 0.0001. The female students' mean BEES score was significantly (P = 0.0037) below the female norm of 60. Students who preferred a specialty with continuity of patient care scored significantly higher in the BEES (P = 0.014). A more avoidant attachment style was associated with a lower BEES score (P = 0.021). Conclusion. The students showed low emotional and cognitive empathy scores and an avoidant attachment style. This supports the inclusion of specific training in cognitive and emotional empathy in medical education.

No MeSH data available.