STUDY: Who cares for empathy?

Empathy is seen by some researchers as a cognitive attribute (i.e. ‘understanding’ another person’s concerns) and by others as an affective attribute (i.e. ‘feeling’ another person’s suffering) or both. We propose that clinical empathy should be viewed as a continuum of three obligatory sequential stages: ‘comprehension’ of the patient’s predicament (a cognitive process based on listening); followed by ‘compassion’ (an emotional or affective process) and then, ‘commitment’ to do the best for this patient (a practical stage of obtaining and applying the best patient-suited evidence and providing ongoing support). Thus, for empathy to be effective, the physician’s compassion needs to be not only felt by the patient but also followed by action. 
img http://bit.ly/rYTr9k