Objective: To explore the relationships between self-reported Empathy and the patient-centered communication patterns of physician trainees. Methods: “Eighty-four 3rd year medical students completed the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE – student version) and had recordings of a single OSCE analyzed using the Roter Interactional Analysis System (RIAS). Correlation and regression were employed to explore the relationships among JSE total score, 3 JSE subscales, 10 composite codes of provider communication, and a summary ‘patient centered communication’ ratio, reflecting the balance of psychosocial and emotional to biomedical communication of the simulated patient and student. Results: Results indicate that controlling for other elements of student communication, the RIAS composite of codes reflecting ‘emotional responsiveness’ (characterized by empathy statements, legitimization, showing concern, partnership statements and medically relevant provider self-disclosure) was positively related to the JSE Total Score while student ‘question asking’ and ‘biomedical counseling’ were negatively related to the JSE Score. RIAS-coded communication variables accounted for 32.4% of the JSE Total score. Conclusion: The relationship between student expressions of emotional responsiveness and predicted self-reported empathy provides concurrent validation evidence for the JSE. Practice implications: Further research is needed in order to elaborate and further explore a Patient-Centeredness latent variable.
- Jefferson scale of empathy
- Medical provider self-reported empathy
- Patient-centered communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas