Levels of empathy in dentistry students: Measurement and comparison in two academic periods. Universidad Católica de Cordoba (UCC) Argentina [Niveles de empatía en estudiantes de odontología: Medición y comparación en dos períodos académicos. Universidad Católica de Cordoba (UCC) Argentina]
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de Villalba T.V.
Objective: the aim of the study was to measure empathy levels among UCC dentistry students in 2016 and to compare them with a previous record from 2012 in order to establish if it is possible to improve these levels by emphasizing their importance without any specific training. Material and Methods: the sample was formed by students from 1st to 5th year; 2016: 173 (79.36%) and 2012: 189 (84.75%). The sample was stratified by academic year and gender. A Spanish version for health science students of Jefferson’s Empathy Medical Scale was applied; the version is validated in Mexico and Chile, and culturally adapted by judges in Argentina. Results: in 2016, there was a difference between women and men in empathy in general (F=108.56, M= 98.859) and in their components, with the exception of “Putting yourself into other´s shoes”. Both genders tended to decrease empathy in general and its components from 3rd year with a tendency to increase again in 5th year, with the exception of the last component. The difference in empathy in general between students of 5th year and 1st year was assessed in 29.8% of possible growth. The components studied were”Compassionate care” 18.99%, “Taking perspective” 36.84% and “Putting yourself into other´s shoes” 6.71%. In the 2012-2016 comparison, the questions that presented significant differences were number 3, 5, 10, 16, 17 and 18. Conclusions: an empathy diagnosis is provided that will help in the elaboration of strategies to incorporate the acquisition of this aptitude into the curriculum of this University´s School of Dentistry. © 2018, Universidad del Norte. All rights reserved.
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