Jefferson Scale Of Empathy

Discover the Jefferson Scale of Empathy: an essential tool for measuring healthcare empathy. Learn how to effectively use it with Carepatron's digital platform.

By Telita Montales on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy?

The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) is a widely used tool designed to measure empathy in health professions students and practicing healthcare professionals. Developed by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, this scale employs a seven-point Likert scale to assess individuals' empathetic orientation by gauging their ability for perspective-taking and understanding patients' emotional states. With a focus on healthcare practitioners, the JSE aims to enhance empathy, a crucial component for providing compassionate care, fostering positive patient outcomes, and promoting patient-centered care.

Utilizing confirmatory factor analysis, the JSE explores the latent variable structure of empathy, offering insights into its underlying components. Preliminary psychometric data and systematic reviews attest to the scale's measurement properties, including construct validity and criterion-related validity. The JSE has been applied across diverse healthcare settings, including medical schools, internal medicine residency programs, and osteopathic medical students, showcasing its adaptability and relevance in various contexts.

As a valuable instrument, the JSE contributes to healthcare education research, influencing medical practice and emphasizing the significance of empathy in clinical competence. Its standardized approach allows for national norms and comparisons, revealing statistically significant findings and gender differences in empathy levels. Practicing health professionals also benefit from the JSE, as higher scores are associated with improved interpersonal skills and patient satisfaction. Overall, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy stands as a crucial tool in evaluating and fostering empathy within the healthcare profession, ultimately contributing to the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care.

Printable Jefferson Scale Of Empathy

Download this Jefferson Scale Of Empathy to assess empathy displayed in the healthcare field.

How does it work?

Navigating through the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy involves an organized sequence of steps, which are as follows:


Designed as a self-report instrument, the respondents fill it out independently. The questionnaire is available in paper-based and electronic formats, accommodating different preferences and situational requirements.


Respondents are instructed to rate statements using a seven-point scale. The scale ranges from 1 to 7 (indicating strong disagreement). Certain items in the questionnaire are reverse-scored to ensure unbiased responses. After completing the questionnaire, the total score is derived, presenting an overall measure of empathic orientation.


The scores are then interpreted to infer the level of empathetic orientation. Higher scores represent a more profound empathic orientation in the caregiver-patient relationship, suggesting a higher potential for fostering therapeutic relationships.


JSE findings can evaluate empathy at an individual or group level and inform interventions to bolster empathy within healthcare settings.

A printable Jefferson Scale Of Empathy is readily available for those who find it easier to work with a tangible copy. This printable feature allows the flexibility to administer the questionnaire in diverse environments and situations.

Jefferson Scale Of Empathy example (sample)

To better understand the nature of the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy, let's consider an illustrative example. One sample item from the JSE might be: "Healthcare providers' understanding of the emotional status of their patients, as well as that of their families, is one important component of the healthcare provider-patient relationship." Here, respondents are asked to rate their level of agreement with this statement on a seven-point Likert scale.

The above statement provides a glimpse into the types of questions asked in the JSE, which aim to gauge the empathic orientation of the respondent in the context of patient care. It's important to note that each item in the JSE is crafted to probe into different aspects of empathetic engagement in the caregiver-patient relationship.

Refer to the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy PDF to explore the complete set of questions and have a comprehensive understanding of the JSE. This resource provides the complete questionnaire, enabling a thorough familiarization with this valuable instrument in patient care.

Download this Jefferson Scale Of Empathy Example:

Jefferson Scale Of Empathy Example (sample)

When would you use this template?

The Jefferson Scale Of Empathy (JSE) is useful in various situations within the healthcare ecosystem, providing valuable insights into the empathetic dimensions of caregiving. Here are some specific scenarios where this resource becomes particularly useful:

  • Medical professionals: For practicing physicians, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare workers, the JSE serves as an effective tool to evaluate their empathetic engagement in patient interactions. It can help identify potential areas for improvement, contributing to enhanced patient rapport and care quality.
  • Medical education: The JSE is incredibly useful within medical education. It allows educators to track changes in students' empathy levels throughout their training, providing tangible data to measure personal growth and the impact of their curriculum.
  • Healthcare research: Researchers can employ the JSE to study the correlation between healthcare providers' empathy and patient outcomes. This can further inform strategies to foster empathy within healthcare settings.
  • Recruitment and training: Human resources and training departments within healthcare institutions can use the JSE as part of their recruitment process or ongoing professional development programs. This can help ensure they cultivate a workforce with a strong capacity for empathy.
  • Evaluation of interventions: The JSE can be an effective tool to assess the impact of various educational or professional development interventions to enhance empathy levels among healthcare professionals or students.

By deploying the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy in these scenarios to improve clinical outcomes, stakeholders within the healthcare field can foster an environment where empathic care becomes a quantifiable and improvable facet of the caregiving process. This ensures that empathy, a vital component of patient-centered care, is not overlooked in pursuing medical excellence.


The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) offers several healthcare and medical education benefits. One key advantage is its ability to measure empathy levels among healthcare professionals, providing valuable insights into their capacity for understanding and connecting with patients.

The JSE is widely used in medical education to assess and enhance empathy skills among students, fostering the development of compassionate and patient-centered care.

Additionally, the scale contributes to research by offering a standardized and reliable tool for studying empathy in healthcare contexts. Its use can improve patient satisfaction, better communication between healthcare providers and patients, and ultimately, enhance the quality of care in medical settings.

The JSE's widespread acceptance and utilization underscore its importance as a valuable instrument for promoting empathetic practices in the healthcare field.

Why use Carepatron as your Jefferson Scale Of Empathy app?

Navigating the world of healthcare can be complex, but with Carepatron, managing empathy assessments doesn't have to be. By choosing Carepatron as your Jefferson Scale of Empathy app, you unlock a world of simplified, streamlined, and secure practice management.

Carepatron transforms how you administer, score, and interpret the Jefferson Scale of Empathy. Our digital platform not only allows for secure storage of patient responses but also offers effortless access to this crucial data. With Carepatron, tracking empathy scores over time becomes a seamless process, providing valuable insights that can enhance your approach to patient care.

  • Simplicity: Our Jefferson Scale of Empathy software is designed to be intuitive, reducing the learning curve and allowing you to focus on what truly matters: your patients. There's no need for extensive training to navigate Carepatron; its user-friendly interface ensures a smooth experience right from the start. However, simplicity doesn't mean compromising compliance. 
  • Compliance: Carepatron meets the strictest worldwide security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST. With us, you can be confident that your sensitive patient information remains safeguarded, upholding your patients' trust.
  • Collaboration: Carepatron's features are tailored to enhance collaboration within healthcare teams. Sharing insights across your team, professional network, and patients is as easy as if everyone were in the same room. This collaborative aspect fosters a more cohesive healthcare experience, benefiting your patients.

Embrace the future of healthcare empathy assessment by choosing Carepatron as your Jefferson Scale Of Empathy Software. Sign up today!

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Jefferson Scale of Empathy. (n.d.).

Jefferson Scales for the Assessment of Educational & Patient Outcomes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2024, from

Petek Šter, M., & Selič, P. (2015). Assessing Empathic Attitudes in Medical Students: The Re-Validation of the Jefferson Scale of Empathystudent Version Report. Slovenian Journal of Public Health, 54(4), 282–292.

Who uses the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy?
Who uses the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy?

Commonly asked questions

Who uses the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy?

The Jefferson Scale Of Empathy is primarily used by healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, therapists, and medical students.

When do you use the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy?

The Jefferson Scale Of Empathy can be used to assess the level of empathy in healthcare providers, identify areas for improvement, and measure the effectiveness of interventions to enhance empathy.

How is the Jefferson Scale Of Empathy used?

The Jefferson Scale Of Empathy is used as a self-report questionnaire. Respondents rate their level of agreement with a series of statements, providing a quantifiable measure of empathy.

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