Article

The Effects of Physician Empathy on Patient Satisfaction and Compliance

Michigan State University, Ист-Лансинг, Michigan, United States
Evaluation &amp the Health Professions (Impact Factor: 1.67). 10/2004; 27(3):237-51. DOI: 10.1177/0163278704267037
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study attempted to develop new scales of patient-perceived, empathy-related constructs and to test a model of the relationships of physician empathy and related constructs to patient satisfaction and compliance. Five hundred fifty outpatients at a large university hospital in Korea were interviewed with the questionnaire. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Patient-perceived physician empathy significantly influenced patient satisfaction and compliance via the mediating factors of information exchange, perceived expertise, inter-personal trust, and partnership. Improving physician empathic communication skills should increase patient satisfaction and compliance. Health providers who wish to improve patient satisfaction and compliance should first identify components of their empathic communication needing improvement and then try to refine their skills to better serve patients.

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    • "Previous research has indicated that expressing emotions is related to enhanced emotion-regulation, which in turn might reduce stress and have beneficial effects on patients' wellbeing [5] [6]. In addition, physicians who respond to patients' emotions in an open and empathic manner can reduce patients' level of distress and increase levels of treatment adherence [7] [8]. "
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    • "Clinician empathy has been long recognized as being an important ingredient in effective medicine. Clinician empathy infl uences patient satisfaction (Bertakis, Roter, and Putnam 1991; Blatt et al. 2010; Kim, Kaplowitz, and Johnston 2004; Zachariae et al. 2003), adherence to medical recommendations (Kim, Kaplowitz, and Johnston 2004; Pollak et al. 2007; Vermeire et al. 2001), and medical-legal risk (Spiegel and Kavaler 1997; Vukmir 2006). Clinician empathy is related to clinical competence (Arora et al. 2010; Hojat et al. 2002) and strongly predicts clinical outcomes (Burns and Nolen-Hoeksema 1992; Di Blasi et al. 2001; Hojat et al. 2011; Norcross and Wampold 2011). "
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