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Table 3 Rotated factor solution, item means and standard deviations, and item-total score correlations

From: A multi-institutional and cross-sectional study on empathy in Chinese medical students: differences by student cadre or not, future career preference, and father’s education status

ItemaFactor 1Factor 2Factor 3Factor 4Mean/ SDrit
Physicians’ understanding of the emotional status of their patients, as well as that of their families, is one important component of the physician–patient relationship. (16).797.268−.044.0175.71/1.15.70**
I believe that empathy is an important therapeutic factor in the medical treatment. (20).782.144.060.0515.73/1.21.65**
Physicians should try to think like their patients in order to render better care. (17).762.047.042.0805.30/1.25.58**
Physicians should try to understand what is going on in their patients’ minds by paying attention to their nonverbal cues and body language. (13).726.050.024.0125.35/1.29.55**
Physicians should try to stand in their patients’ shoes when providing care to them. (9).722.162−.056−.0485.69/1.19.59**
Patients value a physician’s understanding of their feelings which is therapeutic in its own right. (10).705.265−.103−.0525.85/1.15.62**
Empathy is a therapeutic skill without which the physician’s success is limited. (15).690−.093.161.1655.91/1.51.50**
Understanding body language is as important as verbal communication in physician–patient relationships. (4).641.260−.178−.2316.00/1.09.53**
A physician’s sense of humor contributes to a better clinical outcome. (5).593.116−.174−.0815.57/1.34.47**
Patients feel better when their physicians understand their feelings. (2).569.387−.246−.2156.07/1.78.55**
Asking patients about what is happening in their personal lives is not helpful in understanding their physical complaints. (12).215.771.124.0665.68/1.35.65**
Patients’ illnesses can be cured only by medical or surgical treatment; therefore, physicians’ emotional ties with their patients do not have a significant influence in medical or surgical treatment. (11).133.714.061.2875.50/1.44.60**
I believe that emotion has no place in the treatment of medical illness. (14).211.677.270.1055.66/1.34.63**
I do not enjoy reading nonmedical literature or the arts. (19).034.673−.004.0085.74/1.49.47**
Attention to patients’ emotions is not important in history taking. (7).258.628.160.2135.86/1.28.64**
It is difficult for a physician to view things from patients’ perspectives. (3)−.061.173.835.0253.86/1.41.26**
Because people are different, it is difficult to see things from patients’ perspectives. (6)−.013.311.764−.0624.21/1.50.34**
Physicians’ understanding of their patients’ feelings and the feelings of their patients’ families does not influence medical or surgical treatment. (1)−.085.162.046.7774.21/1.78.27**
Attentiveness to patients’ personal experiences does not influence treatment outcomes. (8).072.312−.058.7194.92/1.68.42**
Physicians should not allow themselves to be influenced by strong personal bonds between their patients and their family members. (18)−.271−.151.261.2022.83/1.50.-.08
Eigenvalue5.203.121.641.46  
% Variance26.0115.598.217.28  
  1. aItems are listed by the order of magnitude of the factor coefficients within each factor. Factor loadings equal to or greater than 0.4 are in bold. Numbers in parentheses represent the sequence of the items in the actual scale. Items were scored using a seven-point Likert-type scale
  2. rit = Item-total score correlation. ** Indicates statistical significance levels p < 0.01