Impact of physician empathy on patient outcomes: a gender analysis.

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_7F803FE6E5EC
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Impact of physician empathy on patient outcomes: a gender analysis.
Journal
The British journal of general practice
Author(s)
Surchat C., Carrard V., Gaume J., Berney A., Clair C.
ISSN
1478-5242 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0960-1643
Publication state
Published
Issued date
02/2022
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
72
Number
715
Pages
e99-e107
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Publication Status: epublish
Abstract
Empathy in primary care settings has been linked to improved health outcomes. However, the operationalisation of empathy differs between studies, and, to date, no study has concurrently compared affective, cognitive, and behavioural components of empathy regarding patient outcomes. Moreover, it is unclear how gender interacts with the studied dimensions.
To examine the relationship between several empathy dimensions and patient-reported satisfaction, consultation's quality, and patients' trust in their physicians, and to determine whether this relationship is moderated by a physician's gender.
Analysis of the empathy of 61 primary care physicians in relation to 244 patient experience questionnaires in the French-speaking region of Switzerland.
Sixty-one physicians were video-recorded with two male and two female patients. Six different empathy measures were assessed: two self-reported measures, a facial recognition test, two external observational measures, and a Synchrony of Vocal Mean Fundamental Frequencies (SVMFF), measuring vocally coded emotional arousal. After the consultation, patients indicated their satisfaction with, trust in, and quality of the consultation.
Female physicians self-rated their empathic concern higher than their male counterparts did, whereas male physicians were more vocally synchronised (in terms of frequencies of speech) to their patients. SVMFF was the only significant predictor of all patient outcomes. Verbal empathy statements were linked to higher satisfaction when the physician was male.
Gender differences were observed more often in self-reported measures of empathy than in external measures, indicating a probable social desirability bias. SVMFF significantly predicted all patient outcomes, and could be used as a cost-effective proxy for relational quality.
Keywords
Empathy, Female, Humans, Male, Patient Satisfaction, Physician-Patient Relations, Physicians/psychology, Surveys and Questionnaires, Trust, empathy, empathy measures, facial emotion recognition, gender, general practice, patient-reported outcome measures, satisfaction, self report, stereotypes
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
14/01/2022 15:56
Last modification date
18/06/2022 6:34
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