Eleven years of data on the Jefferson Scale of Empathy – medical student version: Japanese norm data and tentative cutoff scores

Hitomi U. Kataoka, Akiko Tokinobu, Chikako Fujii, Mayu Watanabe, Mikako Obika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: More and more studies investigate medical students’ empathy using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE). However, no norm data or cutoff scores of the JSE for Japanese medical students are available. This study therefore explored Japanese norm data and tentative cutoff scores for the Japanese translation of the JSE-medical student version (JSE-S) using 11 years of data obtained from matriculants from a medical school in Japan. Methods: Participants were 1,216 students (836 men and 380 women) who matriculated at a medical school in Japan from 2011 to 2021. The JSE-S questionnaire was administered to participants prior to the start of the program. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics and statistical tests were performed to show the norm data and tentative cutoff scores for male and female students separately. Results: The score distributions of the JSE-S were moderately skewed and leptokurtic for the entire sample, with indices -0.75 and 4.78, respectively. The mean score (standard deviation) for all participants was 110.8 (11.8). Women had a significantly higher mean score (112.6) than men (110.0; p < 0.01). The effect size estimate of gender difference was 0.22, indicating a small effect size. The low and high cutoff scores for men were ≤ 91 and ≥ 126, respectively, and the corresponding scores for women were ≤ 97 and ≥ 128, respectively. Conclusions: This study provides JSE-S norm data and tentative cutoff scores for Japanese medical school matriculants, which would be helpful in identifying those who may need further training to enhance their empathy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Cutoff scores
  • Empathy
  • Jefferson Scale of Empathy
  • Medical students
  • Norm data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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