Introduction: Empathy is a quality that allows dentists to build an intersubjective relationship with their patients, which, among other benefits, contributes to the effectiveness of the treatment. Objective: To determine whether there is variability in empathy levels between two populations of dental students and to describe theoretically the general implications of this variability for intervention strategies. Materials and methods: Exploratory cross-sectional study. The study population consisted of 1st-5th year dental students from the Universidad Santiago de Cali, Colombia (n=610; N=647) and the Universidad San Sebastián, Chile (n=535; N=800). In both groups, empathy was measured using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (S-Version) Scale. Descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) were used for data analysis. Internal consistency of data was estimated using Cronbach's alpha and the intraclass correlation coefficient. A factorial analysis of variance was performed, and three factors were studied: University (U), Course (C), and Sex (S). The statistical significance level used was α<0.05 and β≤0.20. Results: Differences in empathy level and in some of its three dimensions were observed between students from both universities and among courses (1st-5th year). No differences were found between sexes. Conclusions: There is variability in empathy levels among dental students from both universities. Thus, the implementation of specific empathy intervention strategies in each dental medicine program offered in Latin America is required to increase empathy levels in this population.
|Translated title of the contribution||Variability of empathy among dental students. Implications not yet understood in Latin America|
|Journal||Revista Facultad de Medicina|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
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