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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46-52

A level of empathy and spirituality among undergraduate medical students of a tertiary hospital in Telangana: A cross-sectional study

Department of Psychiatry, Mamata Medical College, Khammam, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramana Gattavali
Department of Psychiatry, Mamata General Hospital, Giriprasad Nagar, Khammam - 507 002, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjp.tjp_46_21

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Introduction: Patients' care with empathy has shown a higher clinical competence with great rapport. It leads to an accurate diagnosis with fewer medical errors. Patients tend to be more satisfied with improved outcomes both psychologically and pharmacologically. Empathy supports medical students to achieve capabilities essential for patient-centered care and in development of affective skill, manners, and personal as well as professional growth. Aims and Objectives: To assess the level of empathy among medical students and to assess the level of spiritual well-being and its relation with empathy. Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study was carried out from January 2021 to March 2021 period. A total of 200 medical students were selected for the study, fifty from each year. Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy Student version (JSPE-S), Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ), Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS), and Demographic Questionnaire were used for the collection of data. Results: The mean JSPE-S score was 108.41 (14.19), mean TEQ score was 44.89 (6.26), and mean SWBS was 80.58 (18.89). By JSPE-S, the mean empathy score decreased from the 3rd year and was lower in the final year (P = 0.00002). By TEQ, the empathy score was higher in the 2nd year followed by 3rd and 1st and was lower in the final year (P = 0.002). Females had higher empathy than males (P < 0.002 for JSPE-S and P < 0.00001 for TEQ). There was a significant positive relationship between spiritual well-being score with mean JSPE-S (r = 0.4429, P = 0.0012) and TEQ score (r = 0.5777, P = 0.00001). Conclusion: Medical students had an average level of empathy and spiritual well-being. Clinical empathy decreased from the 3rd year and was lower in final-year students. Spiritual well-being had a positive significant relationship with empathy. There was a statistically significant association between mean empathy scores with demographic variables such as gender, parental education, habit of doing meditation, permanent residence area, and year of study.

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