Psychiatry Investig.  2019 Oct;16(10):766-772. 10.30773/pi.2019.08.31.

Relationship between Psychological Correlates and Empathy in Medical Students: A Cross-Sectional Study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Republic of Korea. npmhhong@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea. mini7744@hanmail.net

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Empathy is important in the education of medical students. Many psychosocial variables are related to empathy. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between empathy and psychosocial factors such as burnout, personality, self-esteem, and resilience.
METHODS
The participants completed a set of self-reporting questionnaires, including questions related to socio-demographic characteristics, the Korean edition of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, student version (JSE-S-K), Maslach Burnout Inventory General Survey (MBI-GS), NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (R-SES), and Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Partial correlation and regression analyses were performed.
RESULTS
In male students, there were positive correlations between JSE-S-K and R-SES (r=0.229, p=0.002); conscientiousness of the NEO-FFI (r=0.153, p=0.037) and negative correlations, specifically between JSE-S-K and depersonalization of MBI (r=-0.206, p=0.005). In female students, there was positive correlations between JSE-S-K and personal accomplishment of MBI (r=0.384, p=0.004). In the multiple regression model, the JSE-S-K was affected by conscientiousness of the NEO-FFI (adjusted R² =0.245, β=0.201, p=0.001); depersonalization, personal accomplishment of the MBI-GS (β=-0.188, p=0.001, β=0.143, p=0.017); R-SES (β=0.176, p=0.004); sex (β=0.117, p=0.029).
CONCLUSION
The present findings suggested that conscientiousness, depersonalization, personal accomplishment, self-esteem and sex have an influence on empathy. Therefore, these must be considered in medical education and can be helpful to nurture more empathetic doctors.

Keyword

Medical student; Empathy; Self-esteem; Burnout; Conscientiousness

MeSH Terms

Cross-Sectional Studies*
Depersonalization
Education
Education, Medical
Empathy*
Female
Humans
Male
Psychology
Students, Medical*
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