A social neuroscience perspective on clinical empathy

Decety, J., Smith, K.E., Norman, G.J., & Halpern, J. (2014). A social neuroscience perspective on clinical empathy. World Psychiatry. 13 (3): 233–237.

Excerpt: Clinical empathy is an important element of quality health care. Empathic communication is associated with improved patient satisfaction, increased adherence to treatment, and fewer malpractice complaints [1]. Patients' perceptions of their physicians' empathy are positively related to more favorable health outcomes [2-4]. In addition to improving patient outcomes, clinical empathy is associated with increased overall well-being for the physician [5]. High levels of practitioner empathy have been associated with decreased burnout, personal distress, depression and anxiety, along with increased life satisfaction and psychological well-being [6, 7]. Despite increasing appreciation of the value of empathy, medical educators continue to struggle with how best to educate students and residents on empathy maintenance. There have been several promising creative approaches that have shown demonstrable short-term success [8]. However, there is a lack of evidence for enduring success, that is, for interventions during medical education that will enable physicians to sustain empathy throughout their careers. A more comprehensive and precise understanding of the subcomponents of empathy and how they are influenced by stress and anxiety is needed in order to design targeted interventions...

Read the article: Decety, J., Smith, K.E., Norman, G.J., & Halpern, J. (2014). A social neuroscience perspective on clinical empathy. World Psychiatry, 13(3): 233–237.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Oct 01 2014, 12:00 AM by brendah
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