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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 69-73

Standing in patients' shoes — survey on empathy among dental students in India


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Periodontia, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Intern, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Prabhu
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-7761.148990

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Background: Empathy is fundamental to the health care provider-patient relationship. The present study was conducted with the aim to assess the level of Empathy among Indian Dental Students and the objectives of the study are to assess any difference in the level of empathy across gender and year of study. Materials and Methods: Cross sectional descriptive study, employing convenience sampling method was conducted to assess the level of empathy using a validated, self-administered questionnaire Jefferson Scale of Empathy, Health Care Provider Student version (JSE-HPS) in this study. Independent samples t-test and one way ANOVA was used for comparison of empathy scores across gender and year of study. Results: A total of 406 dental students and Interns participated in the present study; the mean empathy score among the dental students was 82.76 ± 8.59. Mean empathy score of male students (83.99 ± 8.711) is greater than female students (82.37 ± 8.54) and there is a significant difference in empathy score among years of study (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Mean empathy score among Indian Dental Students is lesser than those reported in other studies. Empathy should be given importance in dental curriculum to improve dentist-patient relationship, thereby improving the treatment outcomes.


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