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(Chen + 2016)

DOI or Website Link:  
  • Allen K. Chen
  •  Anagha Kumar
  • Aviad Haramati
Date:   2016



Introduction: Empathy among medical practitioners has been shown to affect patient care and outcomes. Factors such as stress and depression are known to have a negative impact on medical student empathy. Approaches such as mindfulness, meditation, and other mind–body techniques can enhance empathy and reverse burnout symptoms. In the present study, we evaluated impact of Mind Body Medicine (MBM) course on perceived stress and empathy on first-year medical students.

Methods: Thirteen first-year medical students in total self-selected into MBM (experimental) and seven non-MBM (control) groups completed a prospective, pre- and post-test analysis, using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy – Students (JSPE-S), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Personal Health Questionnaire (PHQ) to evaluate empathy, stress, and depression, respectively.

Results: Our results showed an increase in stress, as well as a decrease in empathy, in both MBM and non-MBM groups throughout the course of the study.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the inverse relationship increased stress and decreased empathy among first-year medical students and participation in the MBM course did not attenuate the changes. However, a statistically significant rise in the depression score in the non-MBM group was not observed in the MBM group.

Topic Area: (In which field / sector / perspective was this study conducted?)

Definition(How was empathy defined?)

Benefits(Were any benefits of empathy mentioned?)

Criticisms  (Were any criticisms, negative effects or risks of empathy mentioned?)

Methods(What were the methods used to train empathy?)

Target Group:  (Who participated in this study / training?)

Measurements(About the assessment: How was the change in empathy measured before/after the intervention/method?) 

Result: (What was the result?)

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(Any other relevant information)


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