Effect of a Single-Session Communication Skills Training on Empathy in Medical Students

Prima Cheryl D’souza, Smitha L. Rasquinha, Trina Lucille D’souza, Animesh Jain, Vaman Kulkarni, Keshava Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Empathy scores have been found to decline over the years spent in medical school. The authors aimed to evaluate the change in empathy levels in medical students following a single-session communication skills training. Methods: Eighty-two second-year medical students were randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention comprised of a single-session empathetic communication skills training using PowerPoint, video clips, and roleplay. Empathy was assessed using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Student version (JSE) at baseline, post-intervention (for the intervention group), and at follow up after 3 weeks. Results: The mean JSE score of the intervention group was 109.7 ± 11.8 at baseline, with significant improvement post-intervention (114.2 ± 10.6, p = 0.014). However, the score declined at the 3-week follow-up (106.8 ± 11.8). The mean baseline JSE score of the control group was 107.5 ± 12.4, with a decline at follow-up (101.8 ± 16.0). Though both groups showed a decline in the JSE score at follow-up, the decline was significant only for the control group (p = 0.020), which did not receive the training. Conclusions: The study showed significant improvement immediately, and lower decline at follow-up, in empathy levels following a communication skills training. The findings suggest a need to incorporate a regular training program into the existing medical curriculum, to enhance empathy and prevent its decline over the years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 01-01-2019

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communication skills
Medical Students
empathy
medical student
Communication
Students
Group
Control Groups
student
video clip
Medical Schools
Surgical Instruments
Curriculum
training program
Education
curriculum
school

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

D’souza, Prima Cheryl ; Rasquinha, Smitha L. ; D’souza, Trina Lucille ; Jain, Animesh ; Kulkarni, Vaman ; Pai, Keshava. / Effect of a Single-Session Communication Skills Training on Empathy in Medical Students. In: Academic Psychiatry. 2019.
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Effect of a Single-Session Communication Skills Training on Empathy in Medical Students. / D’souza, Prima Cheryl; Rasquinha, Smitha L.; D’souza, Trina Lucille; Jain, Animesh; Kulkarni, Vaman; Pai, Keshava.

In: Academic Psychiatry, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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