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Research Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2016  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 11  |  Page No.: 1253 - 1256

A Comparison of Physician Empathy from the Perspective of Patients Visiting Hospitals in Abadan

Mohammad Mahboubi, Atefeh Zahedi, Babak Rastegari Mehr and Mohsen Mohammadi    

Abstract: Empathy as an essential component in the relationship between the physician and the patient can be related to positive outcome in the patient. The ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes and understand his/her feelings and experiences better is called empathy. If the physician can create an effective (empathetic) relationship with the patient, the patient will reveal his/her abilities to grow the relationship and thus, the treatment will be more effective. The present study was done using descriptive method and in a cross-sectional way in 2015. The population of his study was consisted of patients visiting the hospitals in the city Abadan. The data collection tool was a questionnaire that was consisted of two sections. The first section was related to the patient’s demographic information and the second section was the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE). The sample size was determined to be 492 patients. The data analysis was done using the software SPSS and Chi-square test. The participant’s mean age was 37.09±22.20 years and most of the participants were female (52.3%). About 5% of the physicians explored were general practitioners and 95% were specialists. The empathy mean score was 53.42±16.5. About 18.8% of the patients reported the physician empathy to be low, 76.3% reported it to be average and 4.9% reported it to be good. Specialists, compared with general practitioners had a better empathy with the patients. The difference was statistically significant (p = 0.005). No relationship of age and sex with empathy was found the empathy score of the physicians is low despite the importance of physician empathy for the patients and it impact on treatment results and the satisfaction level in patients. Therefore as the impact of education on empathy level has been verified in some studies, it seems that training medical staff in this regard can have impacts.

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