Table of Contents
ISRN Psychiatry
Volume 2014, Article ID 375439, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/375439
Research Article

Empathy in Undergraduate Medical Students of Bangladesh: Psychometric Analysis and Differences by Gender, Academic Year, and Specialty Preferences

1Department of Anatomy, Chattagram Maa-O-Shishu Hospital Medical College, Chittagong, Bangladesh
2Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Chattagram Maa-O-Shishu Hospital Medical College, Chittagong, Bangladesh
3Department of Psychiatry, Chattagram Maa-O-Shishu Hospital Medical College, Chittagong, Bangladesh
4Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Chittagong Medical College, Chittagong, Bangladesh
5Department of Surgery, Diabetic Association Medical College, Faridpur, Bangladesh

Received 11 February 2014; Accepted 18 March 2014; Published 7 April 2014

Academic Editors: M. V. Seeman and A. Weizman

Copyright © 2014 Asma Mostafa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Empathy is considered to be associated with better patient compliance, satisfaction, and clinical outcomes. The aim of the study is to measure and examine empathy among a sample of undergraduate medical students of Bangladesh. It was a cross-sectional study and all the medical students of first through fifth year enrolled at Chattagram Maa-O-Shishu Hospital Medical College during the study period of 2014 were surveyed. Participants anonymously completed the Jefferson Scale of Empathy Medical Student version translated into Bengali language, a valid and reliable 20-item self-administered questionnaire. Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient were calculated to check validity and reliability of the scale. ANOVA was used to examine the differences in empathy between gender, academic years, and specialty preferences. The mean empathy score was 110.41 ± 13.59. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.88. There were significant associations between gender and empathy scores. The level of empathy in medical students gradually increases after clinical training in medical college. A nonsignificant difference was found between empathy scores and specialty preferences. It is suggested that the medical curriculum in Bangladesh should include more extensive program to promote empathy and other humanistic values among the medical students.