Design and reliability of a scale on the concept of empathy. Differences between health and social professions
Keywords:empathy, health professions, physician-patient relations, relationship abilities, measuring scale
Objective: design, reliability analysis and internal structure of a scale about the concept of the term empathy. Analysis of the concept fitting relation with social or health professions. Method: a questionnaire was designed including correct and popular definitions of the concept of empathy. A total of 284 people answered, while attending a Workshop organized at a health centre at Comunidad de Madrid, the average age was 37 years and the majority of which were women 82% (230) . For the reliability analysis and the exploratory factor internal structure analysis Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used. For hipothesis testing one factor ANOVA, contrast T- student for independent samples and Pearson correlation were used. Results: The scale of 34 items offered a 0.919 Cronbach alpha and 4 Factors which explain 50,95% of the variance; empathy (28,850%) and attitude (5,858%) which define properly the term and attitude. And feel (9,011%) and sympathy (7,233%) which encompass misleading concepts. People from Health professions (n=100) scored higher than those from Social professions (n=60) in Feel factor (average of 50.01 and 43,55) and than Social (media: 53,31) and Others (average: 54.76) in sympathy (average: 63,89). Conclusions: a scale on the concept of empathy has been designed which requires to be improved in subsequent research. The present analyses suggests the existence of a misconception of the term empathy among sanitary professions.