Cultural adaptation and psychometric properties of the Jefferson empathy scale health professions students’ version in SpanishOccupational therapy students

BMC Med Educ. 2021 Sep 6;21(1):472. doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-02845-y.


BACKGROUND: In occupational therapy, empathy is a fundamental concept and has a positive impact on health and quality of care outcomes for patients. It is a basic and essential concept that should prevail in the training of occupational therapy students. The aim of this study is to validate and cross-culturally adapt the Jefferson Medical Empathy Scale, version for health professionals (JSE-HPS) in a sample of Spanish university students of occupational therapy.

METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted between 2019 and 2020. A convenience sample was selected, consisting of 221 students from the four courses of the Occupational Therapy degree at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos during the 2019-20 academic year. Each of the participants voluntarily and anonymously completed a sociodemographic data sheet (including age and sex), in addition to the following assessment scales: JSE-HPS and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI).

RESULTS: A culturally adapted version of the JSE-HPS that guarantees conceptual and grammatical equivalence specific to the study population was obtained. The psychometric analysis of the translated version showed a Cronbach coefficient α of 0.786. The test-retest reliability analysis showed an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.90 (95% CI = 0.86-0.93, p < 0.0001). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed positive results (χ2 = 269.095, df = 167, p < 0.001, Confirmatory Fit Index [CFI] = 0.90, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation [RMSEA] = 0.04).

CONCLUSION: The cultural adaptation and psychometric results suggest that the Spanish version of the JSE-HPS is a valid and reliable way to evaluate the empathic ability of occupational therapy students.

PMID:34488731 | DOI:10.1186/s12909-021-02845-y

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