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The benefits of empathy for your physical and emotional heath.



Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the effects of patient-practitioner interaction on the severity and duration of the common cold.

METHODS:
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of 719 patients with new cold onset. Participants were randomized to three groups: no patient-practitioner interaction, "standard" interaction or an "enhanced" interaction. Cold severity was assessed twice daily. Patients randomized to practitioner visits used the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) measure to rate clinician empathy. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and neutrophil counts were obtained from nasal wash at baseline and 48 h later.

CONCLUSIONS:
When patients perceive clinicians as empathetic, rating them perfect on the CARE tool, the severity, duration and objective measures (IL-8 and neutrophils) of the common cold significantly change.



What Is Empathy?
Greater Good,  Feb 05, 2014
"Empathy is good for health care: A large-scale study found that doctors high in empathy have patients who enjoy better health; other research suggests training doctors to be more empathic improves patient satisfaction and the doctors’ own emotional well-being."


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