Document Type: Original Article
Medical Education Department, Jahrom University of Medical Sciences, Jahrom, Iran
Medical student, Student Research committe, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Background: Patients' right in the field of health services plays an important role in physician – patients’ relationship and is an important factor in health system management. Empathy and communication skills are nowadays one of the important issues in the field of treatment. Professional ethics are also an intrinsic part of the medical profession, and it is important to consider the components that influence professional ethics.The aim of this study was to determine the level of empathy and the relationship between these two components with respect to professional ethics.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 3 levels of clinical students by consensus sampling in Jahrom University of Medical Sciences. Data gathering included demographic information form, revised communication skills questionnaire, interpersonal reactivity index (empathy), and the questionnaire of compliance with professional ethics standards. Communication skills questionnaire consisted of 34 items in a 5-point Likert scale. The interpersonal reactivity index consisted of 28-items and 5-degree spectrum, and the professional ethics criteria questionnaire consisted of 31 questions in a five-option Likert scale.
Results: The highest average in assessing compliance with professional ethics was in the domain of patient care with a value of 27.30 ±4.8; the highest average in the communication skills was in the domain of regulating emotions with a value of 24.04 ± 3.32, and in the area of empathy it was related to personal distress skill with a value of 17.26 ±6.9. Based on the results of regression analysis, it was determined that empathy could significantly predict communication skills (p=0.0001). Also there are correlation between empathy and some sub domains in communication skills and compliance with professional ethics. Communication skills correlated to compliance of professional ethics. All of them was significant (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Considering empathy as a human skill in medical care and its relationship with communication skills and compliance with ethical codes, it is necessary to train these skills in workshop programs to improve students’ knowledge and practice about them.