Conference Contribution Details
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Curtin, S. & Hammond, S.;
IADR Irish Division
CVRS: A research tool to evaluate emotional responsivity in Dentistry
Dublin, Ireland
Oral Presentation
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Objective: Dentists are required to developed communication skills to work effectively with patients.  A crucial component of patient-centred interaction is the ability to build rapport with the patient and maintain a therapeutic relationship (Wessel, Larin, Benson et al, 2008). An essential element of rapport involves a vicarious response to the needs of others, or the ability to empathiseEmpathy has been a focal element of much research in the clinical context.  The benefits of showing empathy are manifold, dentist¿s empathy is perceived positively by patients, and it enhances the doctor-patient relationship while also increasing patient compliance. In addition, it helps the patient to feel safe to discuss difficult matters, provides a meaningful experience where the patient is facilitated in expressing themselves and maintaining an active role in their treatment plan (Greenberg et al, 2001). This paper reports on a psychometric evaluation of the Curtin Vicarious Response Scale (CVRS, Curtin & Hammond, 2011), a 28 item self ¿report measure specifically developed to evaluate emotional responsivity and empathy in dental education and clinical practice. Method: A general population sample was used alongside a smaller sample of dental clinicians. All dental clinicians were academic staff in a teaching hospital. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis supported the three substantive scales; (I) Empathy, the ability to understand another¿s mental and emotional states, (II) Perspective Taking, the capacity to shift perspective and to step outside of self when dealing with another person and (III) Emotional Lability, affective sensitivity and changeability.  Conclusion: It is concluded that the CVRS is a viable and psychometrically robust device for assessing empathy and emotional responsivity in dentistry.