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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 169-171

Cross-cultural adaptation of Jefferson scale of empathy-health professions students version: An experience with developing the Tamil translation

1 Department of Community Medicine, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Centre for Operational Research, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Union South-East Asia Office, New Delhi (Past); Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (Current), India
3 Department of Physiology, Saveetha Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Kathiresan Jeyashree
Department of Community Medicine, Velammal Medical College Hospital and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_312_16

Background: Empathy is a key cognitive attribute among healthcare professionals that fosters better patient– healthcare provider relationships. The Jefferson scale of empathy (JSE) measures self-rated empathy among various groups of healthcare professionals–health professionals, medical students and health professions students (HPS). The authors present the experience in translating the JSE-HPS version into an Indian regional language with insights into the issues faced in every step. Methods: With official permission from the Thomas Jefferson University, the authors embarked on the translation proceeding through forward translation (three rounds of modification), back translation (two independent translates), and synthesis of a final translated version. While targeting literary accuracy, the simplicity and comprehensibility of the instrument by the study population were also ensured. Variations in regional dialects and accents across the population were considered. Results: The back-translated version was evaluated for semantic, content, cultural, and technical equivalence. It was then pretested on ten students followed by a group discussion with them to ensure the comprehensibility of the tool and the differences between written and spoken language were addressed through necessary modifications. Discussion: The Tamil translation of the HPS version of JSE is now approved by and officially available with the Thomas Jefferson University.

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