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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-25

Patients' perceptions of argentine physicians' empathy based on the jefferson scale of patient's perceptions of physician empathy: Psychometric data and demographic differences


1 Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Austral University, Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Bioethics Committee, Argentine Society of Cardiology, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3 Department of Cardiology, “Cosme Argerich” Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 Department of Medicine, UCES University, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 Research Area, Argentine Society of Cardiology, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Correspondence Address:
Raúl A Borracci
La Pampa 3030, 1428 Buenos Aires
Argentina
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.210513

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of a modified Spanish version of the Jefferson Scale of Patient's Perceptions of Physician Empathy (JSPPPE) in Argentine patients and to explore how local demographic characteristics influence patients' perceptions of their physicians' empathy. Methods: A survey was conducted in March 2013 among 400 Spanish-speaking outpatients attending three different public or private hospitals of Buenos Aires. A principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the JSPPPE factor structure, and a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was employed to evaluate its construct validity. Demographic variables including age, gender, geographic origin, education, health coverage, regular physician-established and patient-perceived health status were used to find what factors may influence empathy rating. Results: The PCA yielded a one-factor model that accounted for 77.5% of the variance, and an adequate model fit was observed with CFA indices. Male and elderly patients, South American descendants, less educated people, and public hospital attendants were associated with a higher JSPPPE score. Patients perceived a lower interest of physicians in their daily problems and a poorer capacity “to stand in their shoes.” Discussion: The JSPPPE provides a valid score to measure patients' perceptions of physician empathy in Argentina. These findings afford insight into Argentine patients' awareness of their doctors' empathic concern; however, JSPPPE scores may be alternatively interpreted in terms of patients' satisfaction or likeability.


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