Author(s): Víctor Patricio Díaz-Narváez, Ana María Erazo Coronado, Jorge Luis Bilbao, Farith González, Mariela Padilla, Madeline Howard, María Guadalupe Silva8, Mirian Bullen, Fredy Gutierrez, Teresa Varela de Villalba, Mercedes Salcedo Rioja, Joyce Huberman, Doris Carrasco, Robert Utsman
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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