Psychometric properties of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy: A COSMIN systematic review protocol

Brett Williams, Bronwyn Beovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Empathy is an important characteristic to possess for healthcare professionals. It has been found to improve communication between professionals and patients and to improve clinical health outcomes. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) was developed to measure this quality and has been used extensively, and psychometrically appraised, with a variety of cohorts and in different cultural environments. However, no study has been undertaken to systematically examine the methodological quality of studies which have assessed psychometric factors of the JSE. This systematic review will examine the quality of published papers that have reported on psychometric factors of the JSE. Methods: A systematic review of studies which report on the psychometric properties of the JSE will be conducted. We will use a predefined search strategy to identify studies meeting the following eligibility criteria: original data is reported on for at least one of the psychometric measurement properties described in the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) Risk of Bias checklist, examines the JSE in a healthcare cohort (using the student, physician or health profession versions of the JSE), and is published from January 2001 and in the English language. Conference abstracts, editorials and grey literature will be excluded. Six electronic databases (Medline, EMBASE, PsychInfo, PubMed, Web of Science and CINAHL) will be systematically searched for articles meeting these criteria and studies will be assessed for eligibility by two review authors. The methodological quality of included papers will be examined using the COSMIN Risk of Bias checklist. Discussion: A narrative description of the findings will be presented along with summary tables. Recommendations for use of the JSE with various cohorts and circumstances will be offered which may inform future research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number319
Number of pages6
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019


  • Empathy
  • Psychometric analysis
  • Systematic review

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