Clinician empathy leads to greater patient satisfaction, increased compliance and better outcomes. It boosts job satisfaction for providers.
It may be particularly helpful in cases of chronic illness; Inone study, patients with diabetes had measurably better outcomes when their doctors scored higher on the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, a tool that measures patients’ perceptions of physician caring. A recent systemic review and meta-analysis concluded that the patient-physician relationship had a small but measurable effect on patient health outcomes.
Yet with so many patients seen in limited time increments, and the increasing specialization of medicine, how can doctors get – and remain – empathetic?
If you can learn empathic behaviors and
be respectful and kind, that’s really what
the patient is going to remember at the
end of the day,” Riess says.