Is anyone else tired of hearing about how important empathy is in the doctor-patient relationship? Every other day it seems a new study is talking about the therapeutic value of empathy. Enough already!
It’s not that I don’t believe that empathy is important — I do. I also believe the data that links physician empathy with improved patient outcomes, increased satisfaction, and better patient experiences.
A recent study released in Academic Medicine reported that “patients of physicians with high empathy scores were significantly more likely to have good control over their blood sugar as well as cholesterol, while the inverse was true for patients of physicians with low scores.”
Findings from this study by Hojat, et al. are consistent with a 2009 study by Rakel, et al. which found that among patients with the common cold, those with physicians displaying high empathy had a significantly shorter duration of illness and trend toward lesser severity of illness and higher levels of immune response compared to those patients whose physician displayed less empathy. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*