Eye Contact Affects Patients’ Perception of Clinician Empathy –Doctors Lounge

 Physicians who make direct eye contact and engage in a moderate amount of social touch are perceived by patients as being more empathetic, according to research published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Participatory Medicine.

Enid Montague, Ph.D., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues reviewed videotaped clinical encounters and asked patients to fill out questionnaires to assess the association between nonverbal communication behaviors and patient perceptions of clinician empathy