Empathy and HealthCare
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Empathy and HealthCare
- CultureOfEmpathy.com
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The Value of Empathy in Medicine

The Value of Empathy in Medicine | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
Empathy: it’s what supposedly drives us to become physicians, and what we’re told to demonstrate through our extracurricular activities and during our interviews.


We yearn for that perfect patient interaction in which we comforted or understood in a way that changed the patient’s perspective on medical care. In our idealized view of medicine, we truly believe that empathy will be our saving grace throughout medical school, residency and beyond. If we can simply connect with our patients, then we will succeed and the patients we care for will thrive.


by Sarah Bommarito at Wayne State University School of Medicine

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Why empathy may be the best risk management strategy

Why empathy may be the best risk management strategy | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

Thirty-six states have “apology laws” that prohibit certain statements or expressions of sympathy by a physician from being admissible in a lawsuit.


Experts in the field say that while the laws may help some physicians feel more comfortable about expressing empathy, they aren’t really necessary to avoid lawsuits.


Instead, good patient-physician relationships and open disclosure are the keys to responding successfully to a bad outcome.


By Beth Thomas Hertz

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Diagnosis of the absurd

Diagnosis of the absurd | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

HOW wacky can you get with a subject like Empathy in Healthcare? Well, have a look and see!


We have talked about these short ten-minute plays before – performed in December, as part of the 5th National Bioethics Conference at St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru.


They were performed in the order below:

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Dr. Brian Goldman in the IMAGINE Project: The empathy gap and problems in healthcare

Dr. Brian Goldman in the IMAGINE Project: The empathy gap and problems in healthcare | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
It’s a culture of defensiveness, a system that beats the empathy out of people, and simple lack of training, that destroys patient experience and leads to bad outcomes.


That was the message delivered by author, CBC personality and emergency room physician Dr. Brian Goldman to a packed crowd during the launch of the IMAGINE Project at the University of Calgary in January 22, 2015.


“I want to talk about… what I think is one of the common threads that makes it so difficult for us as healthcare providers to listen, and it has to do with that little problem of empathy,” said Goldman, keynote speaker at the IMAGINE Project launch.

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Empathy Resurrected

Empathy Resurrected | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

Editor’s note: This article is in response to “From the Editorial Board: Empathy Decline in Medical Education.”


 I’ve experienced the suppression of empathy common to graduating medical students. I’m joining a specialty considered among the most jaded: emergency medicine. Despite that, I disagree with the editorial from the in-Training editorial board on empathy....


My patient was going to die, and my actions had if anything prolonged her life. Why then did I feel so wretched? It was empathy, the thing that clinical education beats down, rising back up to the surface.


My empathy made me feel for her, and I felt a pale reflection of her and her family’s agony. Unbidden, quiet, hot tears ran down my face.

Empathy is an important characteristic, but all the more, it’s a weakness. Feeling empathetic for my patient made me feel terrible and sent me home in agony. Logic would dictate that I’d never want to feel that way.


Sarab Sodhi

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(Benefits of Empathy in Healthcare) Why Empathy - Empathetics

(Benefits of Empathy in Healthcare) Why Empathy - Empathetics | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
Why Empathy
  • More satisfied patients, higher reimbursement, less stress.
  • Patient satisfaction is critical to determining healthcare provider and institutional reputations.
  • Medical professionals who communicate with empathy have higher patient satisfaction ratings. (Riess, 2012)
  • Over 80% of malpractice claims are the result of communication failures and the likelihood of an unhappy outcome is correlated to low physician empathy. (Hickson, 2002; Levinson, 2004)
  • Patients who experience empathic care have better medical outcomes. (Hojat, 2011; Rakel, 2009; Kaptchuck, 2008)
  • Adherence to treatment recommendations increases when medical professionals deliver patient-centered, compassionate care. (Halpern, 2010)
  • Communicating empathically increases clinician job satisfaction and reduces burnout. (Krasner, 2009; Shanafelt, 2009; West, 2011)
  • Enhanced empathic care and physician well-being are highly correlated. (Shanafelt, 2005)
  • Empathic clinician communication improves the quality of all interactions with others; patients, their families, colleagues, and loved ones. (Halpern, 2012)
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David Greene's curator insight, February 18, 2015 1:10 AM

Doesn't seem like this should be surprising information if you've ever been a patient yourself.

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Needed in Health Care: Empathy

Needed in Health Care: Empathy | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
Empathy. It can make the difference between life and death, says Huffington Post columnist Steve Young, writing with William Scarlett, D.D.O., FACS, FACOS, FAACS. Compassionate empathetic care benefits everyone, they note, citing a recent study that describes the benefits not only to patients but to clinicians, nurses, residents and other staff.

“When doctors are compassionate, patients are less anxious and they achieve earlier and more accurate diagnoses because the patient is better able to divulge information when he or she feels emotionally relaxed and safe. Treatment planning and patient adherence are, consequently, more efficient, especially when patients have chronic conditions.”

You can learn more about empathy and compassionate care on the ExploreHealthCareers.org site. The article, “Take a Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes,” explores what empathy is and its importance to the patient-health care provider relationship. The Humanism in Health Care section describes the need for health professionals who use their hearts as well as their brains.
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Study: The relationship between physician empathy and disease complications: an empirical study of primary care physicians and their diabetic patients

Study: The relationship between physician empathy and disease complications: an empirical study of primary care physicians and their diabetic patients | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
PURPOSE:
To test the hypothesis that scores of a validated measure of physician empathy are associated with clinical outcomes for patients with diabetes mellitus.


METHOD:
This retrospective correlational study included 20,961 patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus from a population of 284,298 adult patients in the Local Health Authority, Parma, Italy, enrolled with one of 242 primary care physicians for the entire year of 2009. Participating physicians' Jefferson Scale of Empathy scores were compared with occurrence of acute metabolic complications (hyperosmolar state, diabetic ketoacidosis, coma) in diabetes patients hospitalized in 2009.


CONCLUSIONS:
These results suggest that physician empathy is significantly associated with clinical outcome for patients with diabetes mellitus and should be considered an important component of clinical competence.

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Study: Physicians' empathy and clinical outcomes for diabetic patients.

Study: Physicians' empathy and clinical outcomes for diabetic patients. | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
PURPOSE:To test the hypothesis that physicians' empathy is associated with positive clinical outcomes for diabetic patients.METHOD:
A correlational study design was used in a university-affiliated outpatient setting. Participants were 891 diabetic patients, treated between July 2006 and June 2009, by 29 family physicians. Results of the most recent hemoglobin A1c and LDL-C tests were extracted from the patients' electronic records. The results of hemoglobin A1c tests were categorized into good control (<7.0%) and poor control (>9.0%). Similarly, the results of the LDL-C tests were grouped into good control (<100) and poor control (>130). The physicians, who completed the Jefferson Scale of Empathy in 2009, were grouped into high, moderate, and low empathy scorers. Associations between physicians' level of empathy scores and patient outcomes were examined.RESULTS:
Patients of physicians with high empathy scores were significantly more likely to have good control of hemoglobin A1c (56%) than were patients of physicians with low empathy scores (40%, P < .001).


image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_mellitus

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For Cancer Patients, Empathy Goes a Long Way - New York Times

For Cancer Patients, Empathy Goes a Long Way - New York Times | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
At a scary time for patients, too few doctors ask about feelings, a new study finds.


For instance, a patient would say, “I’m scared,” and the doctor would go off on a “scientific riff” about the disease, Dr. Tulsky said, adding, “We saw that a lot.”


The doctors don’t lack empathy, he said. They just have trouble expressing it. 


By DENISE GRADY

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Why This Anti-Rape Workshop-Running College Bro Says Empathy Is The Most Important Idea Of 2015

Why This Anti-Rape Workshop-Running College Bro Says Empathy Is The Most Important Idea Of 2015 | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
Eric Barthold believes that we need to develop our ability to take another person's perspective.


I would love to see our education system value actively build students' ability to empathize and take others' perspective. The lack of empathy is particularly obvious in today's script of masculinity for young men and boys of all ages. In a society still often directed by men, the separation between ourselves and the "other" is inherent in how we define being male and therefore boys in particular have trouble understanding what it would feel like to be in someone else's shoes, so to speak.  
 

If our world placed more value on being empathetic we could lessen the many the tensions behind many pressing issues in today's society, from environmental conservation to all forms of social justice and injustice (race, gender, class, and sexuality), simply by having the ability to actively understand another person's experience and perspective.

by Rachel Signer
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Doctor, Shut Up and Listen: Doctors are evaluated for technical skills, but not for having empathy.

Doctor, Shut Up and Listen: Doctors are evaluated for technical skills, but not for having empathy. | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

A doctor’s ability to explain, listen and empathize has a profound impact on a patient’s care.


Yet, as one survey found, two out of every three patients are discharged from the hospital without even knowing their diagnosis. Another study discovered that in over 60 percent of cases, patients misunderstood directions after a visit to their doctor’s office. And on average, physicians wait just 18 seconds before interrupting patients’ narratives of their symptoms. Evidently, we have a long way to go.


Three years ago, my colleagues and I started a program in Harrisburg designed to improve doctors’ communication with their patients. This large urban hospital system serves a city with a population of about 50,000, together with the surrounding metropolitan area of more than 550,000 people.


By NIRMAL JOSHI

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Denise Silber's curator insight, January 7, 2015 1:44 AM

An unending task to introduce empathy into the current health system. We must ask ourself how to change the factors in the system that block empathy from happening naturally... Many things indeed.

 
Empaticus's curator insight, January 9, 2015 5:36 AM

Läkare utvärderas efter deras tekniska färdigheter, men inte efter deras empatiska förmågor. Det kanske är otillräckligt med tanke på den tydliga kopplingen mellan läkarens empatiska förmåga och patienters tillfrisknande?  Läkare som förklarar diagnoser, lyssnar uppmärksamt och känner in är värda att uppskattas lite extra!

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Facial emotion workout video helps patients and physicians alike

Facial emotion workout video helps patients and physicians alike | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

The ability to read and reflect back facial emotion is the most basic skill of communicating empathy. This crucial skill allows health professionals to let patients know that we truly understand and care, and allows patients to let their caretakers know they are appreciated.

As a practicing physician for many decades and as a teacher of psychiatric interviewing for my entire professional life, I have found that physicians sometimes need to work to develop this skill. I have tested many groups of students and found that reading and reflecting facial emotion is more difficult for medical students than, for example, acting students....


 This is a major conceptual contribution we can offer from psychoanalysis, and no medical school curriculum can afford to ignore this teaching of empathy and identification with the patient.


In time, I hope to use the videos to teach residents and nurses as well.  I recently learned that the “Making Faces” video will soon be required viewing in a Narrative Medicine course for Medical, Dental, Nursing and Public Health students taught by Rita Charon. I am deeply gratified that our effort will find all these audiences and become an essential ingredient in their development of clinical empathy. 


David V. Forrest, M.D 

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Not Running a Hospital: Riess delivers on empathy

Not Running a Hospital: Riess delivers on empathy | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

Empathy is a fashionable topic, but the discussion surrounding it is often a bit touchy-feely, short on rigor.  In contrast, I recently came across this excellent TEDx talk by Helen Riess delivered at Middlebury a bit over a year ago.  It's 17 minutes are worth watching in several respects--thoughtful, understated, and substantive.


Helen is local, based at MGH, so I gave her a call and she told me about some of her activities.  With the encouragement of her hospital, she's started a firm called Empathetics, which is conducting training for clinicians based on her research.


You see, empathy isn't just about feeling warmth and connection: The emotional connection also has roots in neurobiology and physiology.



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Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time

Why it's so difficult for physicians to be empathetic and analytic at the same time | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

For years, physicians have been urged to show more empathy during patient encounters, but most doctors would tell you it isn't quite that simple.

For physicians who struggle to balance empathy with analytic thinking during patient visits, neuroscience researcher and brain-imaging expert Anthony Jack, PhD, has a somewhat comforting explanation: It's not your fault, it's your brain's.


Jack, who leads Case Western Reserve University's Brain, Mind and Consciousness lab, has employed brain-scanning technology to discover that, the more active the region of the brain responsible for analytic thinking is, the less active the region governing empathy becomes.


In other words, the brain's analytic and empathetic systems operate in constant tension with one another.


By Brandon Glenn

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NSB Speaker Dr. Brian Goldman on Empathy

National Speakers Bureau sits down with exclusive speaker Dr. Brian Goldman to hear his thoughts on empathy. To view more on Brian, view his NSB profile: http://bit.ly/1ksN0eJ
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How easy is it to cultivate empathy in doctors?

How easy is it to cultivate empathy in doctors? | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
Caroline Struthers takes us through a recent systematic review which looks at interventions to cultivate empathy in doctors.


One would always hope for, although sadly not necessarily expect an empathic doctor. To be honest, I’m usually quite grateful if they’re not young enough to be my daughter or son. Whilst medical education in most cultures explicitly emphasises the importance of empathy, there is evidence that this desired characteristic declines during medical education, and is “lower than ideal” in physicians.


Studies indicate that doctors overlook or miss empathic opportunities in patient encounters


by Caroline Struther


Kelm Z, Womer J, Walter JK, Feudtner C. (2014) Interventions to cultivate physician empathy: a systematic reviewBMC Medical Education 2014; 14(1): 219. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-219.





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Tessa Misiaszek, PhD Announced As CEO Of Empathetics, LLC - The Empathy-Training Firm Founded By Dr. Helen Riess

Tessa Misiaszek, PhD Announced As CEO Of Empathetics, LLC - The Empathy-Training Firm Founded By Dr. Helen Riess | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

Empathetics, LLC, an empathy-training firm founded by Dr. Helen Riess - recognized for her research in the neuroscience of empathy, announced today that Tessa Misiaszek, PhD has joined as CEO at the firm's office in Boston, MA. 

Ms. Misiaszek brings extensive experience developing human capital strategies to improve healthcare, with an emphasis on provider-patient communications. Empathetics will partner with leading healthcare organizations to implement training programs to help develop a culture of empathy, which studies have demonstrated can significantly improve patient satisfaction.


http://empathetics.com/

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2015 GHHS National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care

2015 GHHS National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) is a signature program of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF), an international not-for-profit organization that promotes patient-centered care.  GHHS invites into its membership medical students, residents, faculty, and members of the community who serve as leaders and role models for promoting kindness and compassion in medical environments. 

 

The APGF and GHHS established GHHS National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care in 2011 to support a national movement promoting provider-patient relationships based on knowing and respecting patients as individuals. 


 GHHS invites participation in National Solidarity Day by all providers of patient care such as medical and nursing schools, residency training programs, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. 

 

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Oxytocin Improves Empathy in Frontotemporal Dementia

Oxytocin Improves Empathy in Frontotemporal Dementia | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
Intranasal administration of oxytocin twice daily for 1 week was safe and well tolerated and showed preliminary signs of improvement in symptoms of apathy and loss of empathy in patients with frontotemporal dementia, according to a new study.


The study, published in the January 13 issue of Neurology, was led by Elizabeth C. Finger, MD, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada


Dr. Finger explained to Medscape Medical News that frontotemporal dementia is the second most common cause of presenile dementia. "It typically starts in the 50s or 60s and appears to have a different pathology to Alzheimer's, with loss of empathy being the hallmark symptom in the most common subtype — known as behavioral variant."

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Study: Therapeutic empathy and recovery from depression in cognitive-behavioral therapy: a structural equation model

Study: Therapeutic empathy and recovery from depression in cognitive-behavioral therapy: a structural equation model | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
This study demonstrated that therapeutic empathy has a moderate-to-large causal effect on recovery from depression in a group of 185 patients treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).


The authors simultaneously estimated the reciprocal effect of depression severity on therapeutic empathy and found that this effect was quite small. In addition, homework compliance had a separate effect on clinical recovery, over and above the effect of therapeutic empathy.


The patients of novice therapists improved significantly less than did the patients of more experienced therapists, when controlling for therapeutic empathy and homework compliance. Ss who terminated therapy prematurely were less likely to complete the self-help assignments between sessions, rated their therapists as significantly less empathic, and improved significantly less.


Ss with borderline personality disorder improved significantly less, but they rated their therapists as just as empathic and caring as other patients. The significance of these findings for psychotherapy research, treatment, and clinical training is discussed.


image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_(mood)

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Study: Perception of empathy in the therapeutic encounter: effects on the common cold.

Study: Perception of empathy in the therapeutic encounter: effects on the common cold. | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
To evaluate the effects of patient-practitioner interaction on the severity and duration of the common cold.


METHODS:
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of 719 patients with new cold onset. Participants were randomized to three groups: no patient-practitioner interaction, "standard" interaction or an "enhanced" interaction. Cold severity was assessed twice daily. Patients randomized to practitioner visits used the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) measure to rate clinician empathy. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and neutrophil counts were obtained from nasal wash at baseline and 48 h later.


CONCLUSIONS:
When patients perceive clinicians as empathetic, rating them perfect on the CARE tool, the severity, duration and objective measures (IL-8 and neutrophils) of the common cold significantly change.

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Associations between Medical Student Empathy and Personality: A Multi-Institutional Study

Associations between Medical Student Empathy and Personality: A Multi-Institutional Study | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
More empathetic physicians are more likely to achieve higher patient satisfaction, adherence to treatments, and health outcomes. In the context of medical education, it is thus important to understand how personality might condition the empathetic development of medical students.


Single institutional evidence shows associations between students' personality and empathy. This multi-institutional study aimed to assess such associations across institutions, looking for personality differences between students with high empathy and low empathy levels.

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Eric Salat's curator insight, February 10, 2015 4:15 PM

Il n'y a pas que la performance biologique qui soit importante dans une relation soignant - soigne ! La compréhension  du mécanisme  d'adhésion du patient permet le dépassement ...

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Cleveland Clinic: Patient Experience, Empathy Innovation Summit 2015

Cleveland Clinic: Patient Experience, Empathy Innovation Summit 2015 | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it

As caregivers entrusted with helping people, improving the patient experience is our collective responsibility. Success comes from the ability to work together, network, share best practices and challenge each other to identify new ways to practice.


Many of the best solutions for challenges are found at the front lines of the caregiver-patient relationship, and bringing people together to share and network ensures that we all have access to the latest innovations. Patient experience is not about enhancing satisfaction - it is about transforming the way medicine is delivered.


Patient experience is a dynamic issue not only for healthcare CEOs, physicians, nursing executives and industry leaders; it’s an issue for everyone in the industry. No provider can afford to offer anything less than the best clinical, physical and emotional experience to patients and families. As patients become savvier, they judge healthcare providers not only on clinical outcomes, but also on their ability to be compassionate and deliver excellent, patient-centered care.


As the world’s largest independent summit exclusively focused on improving the patient experience, the 2014 Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit attracted more than 2,100 attendees from 49 states and 39 countries (click here to see the 2014 agenda).

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6 Habits of Highly Empathetic Nurses

6 Habits of Highly Empathetic Nurses | Empathy and HealthCare | Scoop.it
6 Habits of Highly Empathetic Nurses a Guest Post by Trisha C. Fronczek MS, RN-BC, CCRN


What I gave all day was Empathy. Merriam-Webster defines empathy as “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings” 


In nursing, we do this a lot. We use therapeutic communication to speak with our patient and their loved ones about their diagnosis, treatment and plan of care. Sometimes it is a blur for them and us. We hope we have given them everything they need to prevent a readmission. Other times, we feel we go over everything twelve times and still a decision or plan cannot be formulated.

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