Impact of service learning on pharmacy students’ empathy towards patients

Autumn L Stewart, John R Tomko, Holly C Lassila



The purpose is to explore the impact of a pilot service learning project on student empathy. 


The Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy, a validated assessment tool was used to measure empathy before and after participation in the project. 


A significant increase in the degree of empathy was observed (mean difference=3.778, 95% CI 0.008 to 7.548, p=0.05) demonstrating that service learning with indigent patients has a positive impact on student empathy.


Service learning experiences maybe an effective method for increasing orientation towards empathy. 

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