Empathy Gender in Dental Students in Latin America: An Exploratory and Cross-Sectional Study
Víctor Patricio Díaz-Narváez1,2*, Ana María Erazo Coronado3, Jorge Luis Bilbao4, Farith González5, Mariela Padilla6, Madeline Howard7, María Guadalupe Silva8, Mirian Bullen9, Fredy Gutierrez10, Teresa Varela de Villalba11, Mercedes Salcedo Rioja12, Joyce Huberman13, Doris Carrasco14, Robert Utsman15
1School of Dentistry, Universidad San Sebastián, Santiago, Chile.
2Associate Investigator, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago, Chile.
3Universidad Metropolitana, Barranquilla, Colombia.
4School of Medicine, Universidad Libre Seccional Barranquilla y Fundación Universitaria San Martín Sede Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Colombia.
5School of Dentistry, Universidad de Cartagena, Campus de la Salud Barrio Zaragocilla, Cartagena, Colombia.
6School of Health Sciences, Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología, San José, Costa Rica.
7School of Dentistry, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San José, Costa Rica.
8Institute for Scientific Research, Universidad Central del Este, San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic.
9School of Dentistry, Universidad de Panamá, Panama City, Panama.
10Facultad de Estomatología Roberto Beltrán, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
11School of Medicine, Universidad Católica de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.
12Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru.
13School of Dentistry, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.
14School of Dentistry, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile.
15Investigation of the School of Health Sciences, Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología, San José, Costa Rica.
DOI: 10.4236/health.2015.711166   PDF   HTML   XML   4,054 Downloads   4,997 Views   Citations


Background: It is well-founded that empathy is an attribute that increases the likelihood of good communication between health professionals and patients, and it is usual that there is the conviction that empathy levels are higher in women than in men. Aims: A study comparing levels of empathy gender of students in 18 schools of dentistry from six Latin American countries was conducted. Method: An exploratory cross-sectional study of which empathy levels were measured by the Jefferson Scale of Empathy for dental students (S version) and these levels were compared between genders by t-student test, after verification of normal distribution and homoscedasticity. Results: Variability was found in the results of the comparisons. In some cases, empathy levels were higher in women, others in men and in most of them there were no differences between genders. Conclusions: The observed results do not support the belief that women are more empathetic than men. However, more studies must be performed in more powers and countries to verify that the results described constitute a scientific fact and not just a feature of dental students specifically in the countries studied.

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Díaz-Narváez, V. , Coronado, A. , Bilbao, J. , González, F. , Padilla, M. , Howard, M. , Silva, M. , Bullen, M. , Gutierrez, F. , de Villalba, T. , Rioja, M. , Huberman, J. , Carrasco, D. and Utsman, R. (2015) Empathy Gender in Dental Students in Latin America: An Exploratory and Cross-Sectional Study. Health, 7, 1527-1535. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.711166.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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