Empathic communication between dental professionals and persons living with HIV and AIDS.

Anne D. Wiltshire, Michael W. Ross, Deborah L. Brimlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We studied changes in the affective and empathic responses of sixty-three dental school faculty, students, and staff to people with HIV/AIDS following an HIV/AIDS training session. Empathic response was measured using a modification of the Gallop Staff Patient Interaction Scale, with five statements to which the provider responded at baseline and three times during and after the training. Data were subjected to theme analysis and analysis of empathic level of response, where a theme is a central idea that can be identified by expressed language. Results indicated that themes of provider response included the role and importance of maintaining health, reassurance, comfort, and hope. Negative responses were rare, accounting for only 3 percent of responses. Following the training, themes were expressed more fully but usually did not change. Changes in level of empathy usually paralleled changes in themes. These data describe the measurement of empathy in dental providers dealing with people with HIV/AIDS and changes in the themes and levels of empathy following an HIV/AIDS training session.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


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