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Table 1 Factor structures for perceived empathy of medical students in clinical clerkships (N = 247)

From: Medical students’ preclinical service-learning experience and its effects on empathy in clinical training

Items Question Mean SD Factor loadings
Perspective taking Compassionate care Standing in patients’ shoes
Item 16 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. 5.563 0.960 0.860   
Item 17 Physicians should try to think like their patients in order to render better care. 5.417 1.020 0.837   
Item 15 Empathy is a therapeutic skill without which the physician’s success is limited. 5.190 1.217 0.810   
Item 20 I believe that empathy is an important therapeutic factor in the medical treatment. 5.510 1.100 0.792   
Item 13 Physicians should try to understand what is going on in their patients’ minds by paying attention to their nonverbal cues and body language. 5.405 1.103 0.754   
Item 2 Patients feel better when their physicians understand their feelings. 5.749 0.934 0.709   
Item 10 Patients value a physician’s understanding of their feelings which is therapeutic in its own right. 5.130 1.243 0.699   
Item 4 Understanding body language is as important as verbal communication in physician–patient relationships. 5.729 0.977 0.672   
Item 5 A physician’s sense of humor contributes to a better clinical outcome 5.389 1.014 0.671   
Item 14 I believe that emotion has no place in the treatment of medical illness. (R) 5.619 1.266   0.859  
Item 8 Attentiveness to patients’ personal experiences does not influence treatment outcomes. (R) 5.360 1.327   0.857  
Item 12 Asking patients about what is happening in their personal lives is not helpful in understanding their physical complaints. (R) 5.514 1.331   0.852  
Item 9 Physicians should not try to stand in their patients’ shoes when providing care to them. (R) 5.555 1.357   0.848  
Item 7 Attention to patients’ emotions is not important in history taking. (R) 5.445 1.384   0.838  
Item 11 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. (R) 5.150 1.364   0.788  
Item 19 I do not enjoy reading nonmedical literature or the arts. (R) 5.304 1.335   0.701  
Item 3 It is difficult for a physician to view things from patients’ perspectives (R) 3.879 1.260    0.901
Item 6 Because people are different, it is difficult to see things from patients’ perspectives. (R) 3.510 1.300    0.899
  1. Note: (1) The item # in Table 1 is marked the same as that in the original version of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy-Student version (JSPE-S) for readability and comparison across studies. (2) Each item was measured on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). (3) (R) refers to reversed scores for the item (ie, 1 → 7, 2 → 6, 3 → 5, 4 → 4, 5 → 3, 6 → 2, and 7 → 1)