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Empathy in Dentistry: How Attitudes and Interaction With Older Adults Make a Difference. - PubMed - NCBI
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Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2016 Oct-Dec;37(4):359-380. Epub 2014 Dec 13.

Empathy in Dentistry: How Attitudes and Interaction With Older Adults Make a Difference.

Author information

1
a School of Social Work , University at Buffalo , Buffalo , New York , USA.
2
b School of Dental Medicine , University at Buffalo , Buffalo , New York , USA.
3
c Ivoclar Vivodent , Amherst , New York , USA.

Abstract

The development of empathy and positive attitudes are essential elements of professional education. This study explored the nature of empathy and its association with attitudes about, and exposure to older patients in a sample of dental students. Students completed an adapted version of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE), the Aging Semantic Differential (ASD) and answered questions about their exposure to older people. Factor analysis was used to identify four factors: (1) Empathy is Valuable, (2) Empathy is Demonstrated, (3) Empathy is not Influential, and (4) Empathy is Difficult to Accomplish. Higher empathy scores were related to the ASD subscale attitude of acceptability of aging and to greater exposure to older adults outside of clinical practice. There were no demographic predictors of higher empathy scores.

KEYWORDS:

attitudes; dental education; empathy; geriatric dentistry; older adults

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