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


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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Available from: Stan Allen Kaplowitz, Dec 26, 2014
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    • "Being able to establish empathy with a patient is a vital skill for all healthcare professionals as it allows the patient to feel respected, validated and valued and, importantly, it improves patient outcomes (Beckman et al., 1994; Hojat et al., 2011a, 2011b; Levinson et al., 1997). In addition, empathy improves the quality of information they give, improves quality of care, increases both patient and healthcare professional satisfaction, assists in patient participation and decreases the chance of miscommunication and the frequency of lawsuits (Beckman et al., 1994; Coulehan et al., 2001; Kim et al., 2004; Levinson et al., 1997; Mercer and Reynolds, 2002). In the context of paramedic practice, empathy is no different and plays a vital role in patient care (Boyle et al., 2010a, 2010b). "
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    ABSTRACT: Empathetic behaviour is regarded as a positive trait amongst healthcare professionals and has been attributed to increased patient compliance, greater patient satisfaction, and greater diagnostic accuracy and reduced rates of clinical errors. In particular, paramedic students have typically displayed lower rates of empathy when compared to their healthcare counterparts. The objective of this study is to assess both the level of empathy and changes in empathy in undergraduate paramedic students over a 3-year period at a single tertiary institution. A cross sectional study employing a convenience sample of first, second and third year undergraduate paramedic students at Monash University. Student empathy scores where measured with the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-Health Profession Student version (JSE-HPS); a validated, self-reporting questionnaire. 552 students were enrolled in the study. The mean overall JSE-HPS score for the cohort was 108.60 (SD = 12.50). Female students displayed significantly higher empathy scores of 110.27 (SD = 11.62) compared to males at 105.36 (SD = 13.57). There was also a significant difference (p = 0.03) noted between the 2008 JSE-HPS score 106.32 (SD = 14.02), when compared to the 2009 cohort, 110.18 (SD = 12.91). Results from this study suggest that paramedic students display lower empathy than those reported by fellow healthcare students within the literature.
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    • "SD = 3.0; none of the pilot respondents was part of the experimental group). In the first pilot, relevant items were used from the Jefferson Scale of Patient's Perceptions of Physician Empathy [53], the Empathy Scale [17], the Engagement With Health Care Provider Scale [54], and the Health Care Relationship Trust Scale [55]. A principal component analysis conducted on the pilot data revealed a single component with an Eigen value >1 (76.34% explained variance); "
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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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