Affective, sensory and empathic sharing of another's pain: the Empathy for Pain Scale

Melita Joy Giummarra, Bernadette Fitzgibbon, Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, Megan Beukelman, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia, Zachary Blumberg, Michael Jih Yoh Chou, Stephen J Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Through two studies, we introduce and validate the Empathy for Pain Scale (EPS), which characterizes the phenomenology of empathy for pain, including the vicarious experience of pain when seeing others in pain. Methods In study 1, 406 individuals completed the EPS and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). In the EPS, four painful scenarios (witnessing surgery, patient recovering from surgery, assault and accidental injury) were rated for 12 emotional, empathic and sensory responses. In study 2, 59 participants completed the same questionnaires and then watched and rated videos of sporting injuries. Results In study 1, we identified three factors of the EPS with principal component analysis, which were validated with confirmatory factor analysis: affective distress; vicarious pain; and empathic concern. The EPS demonstrated good psychometric properties, re-test reliability (n = 105) and concurrent validity. In study 2, we validated the EPS against empathic reactions to the pain of others as displayed in video clips depicting sporting injuries and showed that the scale has unique utility to characterize empathic reactions to pain above general trait empathy measures. Both studies showed that the affective distress and empathic concern subscales of the EPS correlated with measures of cognitive and affective empathy from the IRI, whereas the vicarious pain subscale was only correlated with the personal distress IRI subscale. Conclusions The EPS is a psychometrically sound new scale that characterizes empathy for pain and vicarious pain. The EPS offers valuable insight to the phenomenological profile of the affective, empathic and sensory dimensions of empathy for pain
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807 - 816
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this

@article{c87a8bd478224a65af1f96dbc717644d,
title = "Affective, sensory and empathic sharing of another's pain: the Empathy for Pain Scale",
abstract = "Through two studies, we introduce and validate the Empathy for Pain Scale (EPS), which characterizes the phenomenology of empathy for pain, including the vicarious experience of pain when seeing others in pain. Methods In study 1, 406 individuals completed the EPS and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). In the EPS, four painful scenarios (witnessing surgery, patient recovering from surgery, assault and accidental injury) were rated for 12 emotional, empathic and sensory responses. In study 2, 59 participants completed the same questionnaires and then watched and rated videos of sporting injuries. Results In study 1, we identified three factors of the EPS with principal component analysis, which were validated with confirmatory factor analysis: affective distress; vicarious pain; and empathic concern. The EPS demonstrated good psychometric properties, re-test reliability (n = 105) and concurrent validity. In study 2, we validated the EPS against empathic reactions to the pain of others as displayed in video clips depicting sporting injuries and showed that the scale has unique utility to characterize empathic reactions to pain above general trait empathy measures. Both studies showed that the affective distress and empathic concern subscales of the EPS correlated with measures of cognitive and affective empathy from the IRI, whereas the vicarious pain subscale was only correlated with the personal distress IRI subscale. Conclusions The EPS is a psychometrically sound new scale that characterizes empathy for pain and vicarious pain. The EPS offers valuable insight to the phenomenological profile of the affective, empathic and sensory dimensions of empathy for pain",
author = "Giummarra, {Melita Joy} and Bernadette Fitzgibbon and Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis and Megan Beukelman and Verdejo-Garcia, {Antonio Javier} and Zachary Blumberg and Chou, {Michael Jih Yoh} and Gibson, {Stephen J}",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1002/ejp.607",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "807 -- 816",
journal = "European Journal of Pain",
issn = "1090-3801",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
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}

Affective, sensory and empathic sharing of another's pain: the Empathy for Pain Scale. / Giummarra, Melita Joy; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie; Beukelman, Megan; Verdejo-Garcia, Antonio Javier; Blumberg, Zachary; Chou, Michael Jih Yoh; Gibson, Stephen J.

In: European Journal of Pain, Vol. 19, No. 6, 2015, p. 807 - 816.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Affective, sensory and empathic sharing of another's pain: the Empathy for Pain Scale

AU - Giummarra, Melita Joy

AU - Fitzgibbon, Bernadette

AU - Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie

AU - Beukelman, Megan

AU - Verdejo-Garcia, Antonio Javier

AU - Blumberg, Zachary

AU - Chou, Michael Jih Yoh

AU - Gibson, Stephen J

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Through two studies, we introduce and validate the Empathy for Pain Scale (EPS), which characterizes the phenomenology of empathy for pain, including the vicarious experience of pain when seeing others in pain. Methods In study 1, 406 individuals completed the EPS and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). In the EPS, four painful scenarios (witnessing surgery, patient recovering from surgery, assault and accidental injury) were rated for 12 emotional, empathic and sensory responses. In study 2, 59 participants completed the same questionnaires and then watched and rated videos of sporting injuries. Results In study 1, we identified three factors of the EPS with principal component analysis, which were validated with confirmatory factor analysis: affective distress; vicarious pain; and empathic concern. The EPS demonstrated good psychometric properties, re-test reliability (n = 105) and concurrent validity. In study 2, we validated the EPS against empathic reactions to the pain of others as displayed in video clips depicting sporting injuries and showed that the scale has unique utility to characterize empathic reactions to pain above general trait empathy measures. Both studies showed that the affective distress and empathic concern subscales of the EPS correlated with measures of cognitive and affective empathy from the IRI, whereas the vicarious pain subscale was only correlated with the personal distress IRI subscale. Conclusions The EPS is a psychometrically sound new scale that characterizes empathy for pain and vicarious pain. The EPS offers valuable insight to the phenomenological profile of the affective, empathic and sensory dimensions of empathy for pain

AB - Through two studies, we introduce and validate the Empathy for Pain Scale (EPS), which characterizes the phenomenology of empathy for pain, including the vicarious experience of pain when seeing others in pain. Methods In study 1, 406 individuals completed the EPS and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). In the EPS, four painful scenarios (witnessing surgery, patient recovering from surgery, assault and accidental injury) were rated for 12 emotional, empathic and sensory responses. In study 2, 59 participants completed the same questionnaires and then watched and rated videos of sporting injuries. Results In study 1, we identified three factors of the EPS with principal component analysis, which were validated with confirmatory factor analysis: affective distress; vicarious pain; and empathic concern. The EPS demonstrated good psychometric properties, re-test reliability (n = 105) and concurrent validity. In study 2, we validated the EPS against empathic reactions to the pain of others as displayed in video clips depicting sporting injuries and showed that the scale has unique utility to characterize empathic reactions to pain above general trait empathy measures. Both studies showed that the affective distress and empathic concern subscales of the EPS correlated with measures of cognitive and affective empathy from the IRI, whereas the vicarious pain subscale was only correlated with the personal distress IRI subscale. Conclusions The EPS is a psychometrically sound new scale that characterizes empathy for pain and vicarious pain. The EPS offers valuable insight to the phenomenological profile of the affective, empathic and sensory dimensions of empathy for pain

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JF - European Journal of Pain

SN - 1090-3801

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ER -