A systematic scoping review of approaches to teaching and assessing empathy in medicine

Zhou, Yi Cheng, Tan, Shien Ru, Tan, Chester Guan Hao, Ng, Matthew Song Peng, Lim, Kia Hui, Tan, Lorraine Hui En, Ong, Yun Ting, Cheong, Clarissa Wei Shuen, Chin, Annelissa Mien Chew, Chiam, Min
et al (show 10 more authors) (2021) A systematic scoping review of approaches to teaching and assessing empathy in medicine. BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION, 21 (1). 292-.

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<h4>Background</h4>Empathy is pivotal to effective clinical care. Yet, the art of nurturing and assessing empathy in medical schools is rarely consistent and poorly studied. To inform future design of programs aimed at nurturing empathy in medical students and doctors, a review is proposed.<h4>Methods</h4>This systematic scoping review (SSR) employs a novel approach called the Systematic Evidence Based Approach (SEBA) to enhance the reproducibility and transparency of the process. This 6-stage SSR in SEBA involved three teams of independent researchers who reviewed eight bibliographic and grey literature databases and performed concurrent thematic and content analysis to evaluate the data.<h4>Results</h4>In total, 24429 abstracts were identified, 1188 reviewed, and 136 included for analysis. Thematic and content analysis revealed five similar themes/categories. These comprised the 1) definition of empathy, 2) approaches to nurturing empathy, 3) methods to assessing empathy, 4) outcome measures, and 5) enablers/barriers to a successful curriculum.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Nurturing empathy in medicine occurs in stages, thus underlining the need for it to be integrated into a formal program built around a spiralled curriculum. We forward a framework built upon these stages and focus attention on effective assessments at each stage of the program. Tellingly, there is also a clear need to consider the link between nurturing empathy and one's professional identity formation. This foregrounds the need for more effective tools to assess empathy and to better understand their role in longitudinal and portfolio based learning programs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Empathy, Nurturing empathy, Medical schools, Medical education
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 15:46
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 22:34
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-021-02697-6
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-021-02697-6
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3126466