University of Leicester
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Reason: Permanent publisher embargo

The Effect of Practitioner Empathy on Patient Satisfaction

journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-08, 15:39 authored by Leila Keshtkar, Claire D Madigan, Andy Ward, Sarah Ahmed, Vinay Tanna, Ismail Rahman, Jennifer Bostock, Keith Nockels, Wen Wang, Clare L Gillies, Jeremy Howick

Background:

Practitioners who deliver enhanced empathy may improve patient satisfaction with care. Patient satisfaction is associated with positive patient outcomes ranging from medication adherence to survival.


Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of health care practitioner empathy on patient satisfaction, using a systematic review of randomized trials.


Data Sources:

Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Scopus to 23 October 2023.


Study Selection:

Randomized trials published in any language that evaluated the effect of empathy on improving patient satisfaction as measured on a validated patient satisfaction scale.


Data Extraction:

Data extraction, risk-of-bias assessments, and strength-of-evidence assessments were done by 2 independent reviewers. Disagreements were resolved through consensus.


Data Synthesis:

Fourteen eligible randomized trials (80 practitioners; 1986 patients) were included in the analysis. Five studies had high risk of bias, and 9 had some concerns about bias. The trials were heterogeneous in terms of geographic locations (North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa), settings (hospital and primary care), practitioner types (family and hospital physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses, psychologists, and caregivers), and type of randomization (individual patient or clustered by practitioner). Although all trials suggested a positive change in patient satisfaction, inadequate reporting hindered the ability to draw definitive conclusions about the overall effect size.


Limitations:

Heterogeneity in the way that empathy was delivered and patient satisfaction was measured and incomplete reporting leading to concerns about the certainty of the underpinning evidence.


Conclusion:

Various empathy interventions have been studied to improve patient satisfaction. Development, testing, and reporting of high-quality studies within well-defined contexts is needed to optimize empathy interventions that increase patient satisfaction.


Primary Funding Source:

Stoneygate Trust. (PROSPERO: CRD42023412981)

Funding

Stoneygate Trust. (PROSPERO: CRD42023412981)

History

Author affiliation

Stoneygate Centre for Empathic Healthcare, Leicester Medical School, University of Leicester

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Annals of Internal Medicine

Publisher

American College of Physicians

issn

0003-4819

eissn

1539-3704

Copyright date

2024

Language

en

Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications

    Categories

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC