Physician Assistant Student Attitudes and Empathy Following Virtual Immersion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Addressing provider attitudes associated with diabetes and social determinants of health (SDH) can help improve a patient’s overall health and wellbeing. Empathy can improve patient care and outcomes. Cinematic virtual reality (Cine-VR) has been shown to positively affect student empathy. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare empathy and diabetes attitudes among physician assistant students following immersion in 12 virtual-reality video modules. METHODS: Students (n=57) completed the Diabetes Attitude Scale-version 3 (DAS-3) and Jefferson Empathy Scale (JES) before and after completion of the modules. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests to determine differences in scales from baseline to post. RESULTS: After viewing the 12 modules, four DAS-3 subscales significantly increased and the JES showed increases from baseline to post, although not significant. DISCUSSION: Utilization of a common virtual patient can help engage students in improving attitudes toward patients with diabetes experiencing SDH and enhancing empathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e123-e126
JournalJournal of allied health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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