Inpatients’ Perceptions of Physicians’ Empathy and Their Level of Satisfaction Regarding Medical Care Measured by Jefferson Scale of Patient’s Perceptions of Physician Empathy

Document Type: Original article

Authors

1 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan,Iran

Abstract

Background: Physician empathy toward patient is an important factor and humanistic aspect of patient -centered cares and effective therapeutic consultation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate inpatients perceptions of physician empathy and their level of satisfaction regarding medical care besides evaluating the association of the variables with the decision of the inpatients in recommending physician to friends and relatives.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out at teaching hospitals of Zanjan city in 2018. The participants included 285 inpatients. The Jefferson Scale of Patient’s Perceptions of Physician Empathy (JSPPPE) was used for the data collection. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses to describe empathy relations with personal characteristics. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to examine the relationship between inpatients’ satisfaction and perception of empathy with the decision of recommending physician to their relatives.
Results: The factor analysis on five items of JSPPPE led to one prominent factor. Items-total empathy score correlations ranged from 0.7 to 0.81. Correlation coefficient between JSPPPE scores with inpatients’ satisfaction was statistically significant (r=0.69, p<0.001). Overall score of the JSPPPE was strongly correlated with recommendation of physician to relatives and friends (r=0.56, p<0.001). More than half of inpatients (57.1%) were satisfied with medical care and consultations. Only a quarter of inpatients said that they knew their physicians well beforehand. Observed difference in mean scores of the overall satisfaction and personal trust to physician and recommending physician to relatives was statistically significant on the base of age characteristic (p<0.5).
Conclusion: The results of the study showed that there is significant positive association between perceptions of physician empathy with patient’s satisfaction and recommending physician to relatives and friends.

Keywords


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