The analysis of the empathy factor in students of medical sciences

Krzysztof Sobczak, Błażej Popowicz
2019 Polish Annals of Medicine  
Many research projects identify empathy as one of the most important factors necessary for efficient cooperation with patients. For that reason, nowadays, students of medical schools are more often offered access to training, which helps them to develop empathic communication. Aim: The aim of our research was to compare empathy scores of students of medical sciences in Poland against those of students from outside of our system of education. Material and methods: In our study, the sample
more » ... d 536 students from the Medical University of Gdańsk. The participants filled in Baron–Cohen's Empathy Quotient (EQ) – 40 questionnaire and another one, concerning data on demographics. To analyse dependence between discrete variables and statistical heterogeneity of groups, we applied Pearson's χ2 test and analysis of variance. Results and discussion: The results revealed a correlation between female sex and the value of empathy score (χ2 = 86.781, df = 55, P = 0.004). Female students of nursing and obstetrics had the highest average empathy score (EQ = 49.3), which was followed by the students of physiotherapy (EQ = 47.1). Male students of pharmacy had the lowest score (EQ = 44). Conclusions: The findings of our study confirm a connection between sex and level of empathy. Majority of students of those specialisations we researched (61%) had an average level of empathy (class II EQ = 33–51). We did not reveal dependence between the year or the mode of study and the EQ.
doi:10.29089/2019.19.00079 fatcat:cz7tfbpyfnaypjsk6sk22vcp5a