Empathy and big five personality model in medical students and its relationship to gender and specialty preference: a cross-sectional study
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Background:Given the influence that personality can have on empathy, this study explores the relationshipbetween empathy and personality, using three different measures of empathy, and taking into account gender andspecialty preference.Methods:Cross-sectional study. One hundred and ten medical students completed the Jefferson Scale of PhysicianEmpathy, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, the Empathy Quotient, and the NEO-FFI Big Five personality model.Multivariable linear regression was performed to assess the association between personality traits and empathy.Results:Empathy scales showed weak and moderate correlation with personality. The strongest correlations wereobserved between IRI-Fantasy and Openness, and between IRI-Personal Distress and Neuroticism. Gender andspecialty preference can modify this relationship. The extreme groups of Empathy Quotient had significantdifferences in most personality traits.Conclusions:This study confirmed that empathy is related to personality. Using three empathy scales allowspersonalizing the evaluation of different empathy models and its relation with personality. These results can help todesign programs to study if some personalized intervention strategies could improve the empathy in medicalstudents.
Is part ofBMC Medical Education, 2019, vol. 19, núm. 1, p.57
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