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Empathy levels in Australian chiropractic students

Innes, S.I.ORCID: 0000-0001-7783-8328 and Simpson, J.K. (2022) Empathy levels in Australian chiropractic students. Journal of Chiropractic Education . In Press.

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Empathy is an important modifiable quality of health care practitioners that relates to the quality of patient care. The educative process may adversely affect the empathy levels of health care students at key phases of training. This topic remains unexplored in chiropractic students to date.

A voluntary and anonymous questionnaire was distributed to all chiropractic students in an Australian university-based program in April 2021. This questionnaire recorded age, sex, year of study, and Toronto Empathy Questionnaire scores.

Chiropractic student empathy scores approximated those of other Australian health care students. No statistical differences were found when comparing the mean scores of empathy levels across the 5 student cohorts. The empathy levels of female chiropractic students' were significantly higher than those of the male chiropractic students.

This study provides a baseline from which further explorations on empathy may be conducted in chiropractic students. This holds the potential to improve practitioners' quality of life and patient outcomes and for educators to identify subject matter that may negatively affect empathy levels.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Brighthall and Allen Press Publishing Services
Copyright: © 2022 Association of Chiropractic Colleges
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