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: 1.91). 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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    ABSTRACT: This study compared native-Dutch and Turkish-Dutch patients' expressions of emotional cues/concerns and GPs' responses to these cues/concerns. Relations between patient's cues/concerns and GPs' perceptions of the patient's health complaint were examined too. 82 audiotaped encounters with native-Dutch and 38 with Turkish-Dutch GP patients were coded using the VR-CoDES and VR-CoDES-P. Patients filled out a survey before each consultation to assess their cultural identification, Dutch language proficiency and health-related variables. GPs filled out a survey after each consultation to assess their perceptions of the patient's health complaint. Turkish-Dutch patients expressed more cues than native-Dutch patients, which was explained by higher worries about their health and worse perceived general health. GPs responded more often with space-providing responses to Turkish-Dutch patients compared to native-Dutch patients. Turkish-Dutch patients' cue expression strongly influenced GPs' perceptions about the presence of psychosocial problems. Migrant patient-related factors influence the amount of emotional cue expression in primary care. GPs perceive these cues as indicating the presence of psychosocial problems and provide space for patients to elaborate on their emotional distress. GPs should be trained in using more affective communication techniques to enhance elicitation of the underlying reasons for migrant patients' enhanced emotional cue expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Patient Education and Counseling 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2015.05.018 · 2.20 Impact Factor
    • "In this paper we have sought to show that when empathy is perceived by the patient–when the patient has reason to believe the dentist is concerned about how they feel and what strategies they would prefer to use if they need treatment, patient anxiety can be reduced. There can be a cascade of benefits for this in patient satisfaction, successful negotiated treatment plans and adherence with such plans (see Kim et al. 2004) and reduced dentist' occupational stress. Specific training in developing empathy may be especially relevant for dentists who treat anxious young patients, to stem the early development of lifetime dental anxiety. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: A review of psychology, dental, and medical literature aimed to identify key variables for an ideal dentist-patient relationship. When empathy surfaced as the key positive variable, a further aim, which became the aim of this paper, was to explore how empathy could be intentionally applied. Methods: An online database search, limited to judgementally selected target-words, was conducted for peer-reviewed papers on the dentist-patient relationship. Review guidelines from the American Psychological Association were used to clarify concepts, identify where most work was focussed, and to explore the superiority of any approach to the topic, over another. Results: The distinction between instrumental (information) and affective (emotional) communication was important with empathy being the key variable. Empathy was seen clearly to facilitate improved communication and the experience of dentistry for patient and practitioner alike. Empathy was positively associated with negotiated treatment plans, treatment adherence, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced dental anxiety. However, the concept of empathy was rarely operationally defined, or empirically measured. At best it was a scale score or a theme in qualitative data analysis. As such, applied empathy is discussed as a perceived concept. Dental school curricula and patient request forms were found to have the greatest potential to train dentists to convey empathy, and for patients to perceive empathy. Conclusion: Future directions are proposed, to apply empathy in the dentist-patient relationship through an integrated model of patient-centred communication.
    The New Zealand dental journal 06/2014; 110(3):98-104.
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    • "Patients with empathetic doctors have been shown to have fewer complications from diabetes,12,13 a shorter duration of symptoms with the common cold,14 and have reduced stress and anxiety with doctor visits.15,16 Having an empathetic clinician also improves patients’ recall6,7 and compliance,7,8 and helps them to follow recommendations more readily.12 "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The literature indicates that medical practitioners experience declining empathy levels in clinical practice. This highlights the need to educate medical students about empathy as an attribute early in the academic curriculum. The objective of this study was to evaluate year one students’ self-reported empathy levels following a 2-hour empathy workshop at a large medical school in Malaysia. Methods Changes in empathy scores were examined using a paired repeated-measures t-test in this prospective before and after study. Results Analyzing the matched data, there was a statistically significant difference and moderate effect size between mean empathy scores before and 5 weeks after the workshop (112.08±10.67 versus 117.93±13.13, P<0.0001, d=0.48) using the Jefferson Scale Physician Empathy (Student Version). Conclusion The results of this observational study indicate improved mean self-reported empathy scores following an empathy workshop.
    05/2014; Advances in Medical Education and Practice 2014:5 149–156(5):149-156. DOI:10.2147/AMEP.S58094
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