The impact of two longitudinal professionalism courses on student pharmacists’ empathy
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
PublisherAmerican Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractObjective. To determine whether empathy increased in first-year student pharmacists after completing longitudinal professionalism courses at two schools of pharmacy, identify potential moderators, and assess whether students’ conceptualization of empathy changed with time. Methods. Surveys to assess empathy and other variables were administered to student pharmacists at baseline and at the end of two professionalism courses. Baseline and follow-up scores were compared to detect changes over time. Multivariable analysis was used to identify predictors of empathy scores. Factor analysis was performed to ascertain changes in the dimensionality of empathy. Results. Students’ demographics and baseline empathy scores differed between the two schools. Pre-dictors of empathy at baseline included age, female gender, prior health care experience, and altruism score. A small increase in empathy was observed at one school but not in the combined cohort. Empathy was more likely to increase among female students, those with less health care experience, and those who did not work during the school year. Factor analyses suggested that students’ conceptual clarity about empathy improved over time and became more consistent with existing models. Conclusion. Although an increase in empathy was not observed in the overall cohort, subgroups of students who may derive greater benefit from empathy-related interventions were identified. Factor analyses suggested that students’ conceptual understanding of empathy improved, representing a potential alternative outcome assessment for affective domains. Given differences in demographics, instructional methodologies, and changes in empathy at each school, this study reinforces the importance of replication and multicenter studies to understand the generalizability of educational research. © 2021 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/14927