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(Hojat 2009)

Ten approaches for enhancing empathy in health and human services cultures.  
by Mohammadreza Hojat
2009-01-22



"Empathy has been considered as far too important to be taught only to health professionals (Ivey, 1971; 1974).

 Others have suggested that the capacity for empathy in people in general can serve as a foundation for building interpersonal relationships that have a buffering effect against stress and can be an essential step in conflict resolution (Kremer & Dietzen, 1991). 

As the author has noted "empathy can be viewed as a remedy for the psyche and soul of human kind...And may be it can serve as a means of achieving a global peace here, there, everywhere on earth." (Hojat, 2007, p. 214).

To enhance empathic understanding in health and human services, we need not only a broad reform in the health and human services education at undergraduate and graduate levels, but also in training the hospital staff, staff of the assisted-living environment, as well as health services administrators and executives. Clinical and organizational managers in health care institutions and human services organizations should develop well-designed and effective institutional-wide programs to retain, cultivate, and enhance  a culture of empathic understanding based on approaches described in this article and other innovative approaches."



Methods Outline

  • Improving Interpersonal Skills:

  • Audio- or Video-Taping of Encounters with Patients:

  • Exposure to Role Models:

  • Role Playing (Aging Games):

  • Shadowing a Patient (Patient Navigator):

  • Hospitalization Experiences:

  • Study of Literature 

  • Study of the Arts:

  • Improving Narrative Skills:

  • Theatrical Performances:

  • Balint Method:


Notes:





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