Empathy In Health Care Case Study

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TITLE: Empathy in the Health Professions: an ally in the care of patients with chronic diseases

Chronic disease care is of particular concern, as chronic diseases have become more widespread and are often poorly controlled(1). In Europe, 77 % of the disease burden is attributable to chronic diseases(2), in the EU-28 in 2014, 32.5% of the population aged 16 and over reported a long-standing illness or health problem(3) and according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, accounting for 70% of all deaths in the U.S. These diseases
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Empathy has been recognised as being at the centre of the therapeutic process and it is also regarded as the defining characteristic of all health professions(15). It has been described as one of the most frequently reported humanistic components of patient care, a royal road to treatment, a symbol of healthcare at its best, and an important component of professionalism in medicine(16) and in health care it has been defined as “the competence of a physician to understand the patient’s situation, perspective, and feelings; to communicate that understanding and check its accuracy; and to act on that understanding in a helpful therapeutic way”(17). Empathy has also been defined as “the ability to precisely examine another person’s perception, feelings and experience without making judgement, and to communicate one’s understanding concisely to the person”. Empathy differs from sympathy and compassion, as they both emerge in situations of perceived suffering but do not lead to co-experiencing the affective state of the sufferer, or pity and it is regarded as a multi-faceted construct that includes various components, ranging from low-level mechanisms, such as emotional contagion to high-level processes, such as…show more content…
Health providers who offer empathy tend to be more effective in guiding patients and fostering behavior change and medication adherence, and patients are more likely to reveal nonadherence when they believe their provider cares about them(26). Empathy is also related to increased patient satisfaction, good patient rapport, better diagnostic accuracy, positive health outcomes(27), a better patient 's psychosocial adaptation, less psychological distress and less need for information(28) and is also a key factor in patients’ definitions of quality of
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