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Title: Defining clinical empathy : a grounded theory approach from the perspective of healthcare workers and patients in a multicultural setting
Authors: Tan, Laurence
Le, Mai Khanh
Yu, Chou Chuen
Liaw, Sok Ying
Tierney, Tanya
Ho, Yun Ying
Lim, Evelyn
Lim, Daphne
Ng, Reuben
Ngeow, Colin
Low, James
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Tan, L., Le, M. K., Yu, C. C., Liaw, S. Y., Tierney, T., Ho, Y. Y., Lim, E., Lim, D., Ng, R., Ngeow, C. & Low, J. (2021). Defining clinical empathy : a grounded theory approach from the perspective of healthcare workers and patients in a multicultural setting. BMJ Open, 11(9), e045224-.
Project: GERI1616
Journal: BMJ Open
Abstract: Objective To define clinical empathy from the perspective of healthcare workers and patients from a multicultural setting. Design Grounded theory approach using focus group discussions. Setting A health cluster in Singapore consisting of an acute hospital, a community hospital, ambulatory care teams, a medical school and a nursing school. Participants 69 participants including doctors, nurses, medical students, nursing students, patients and allied health workers. Main outcome measures A robust definition of clinical empathy. Results The construct of clinical empathy is consistent across doctors, nurses, students, allied health and students. Medical empathy consists of an inner sense of empathy (imaginative, affective and cognitive), empathy behaviour (genuine concern and empathic communication) and a sense of connection (trust and rapport). This construct of clinical empathy is similar to definitions by neuroscientists but challenges a common definition of clinical empathy as a cognitive process with emotional detachment. Conclusions This paper has defined clinical empathy as ‘a sense of connection between the healthcare worker and the patient as a result of perspective taking arising from imaginative, affective and cognitive processes, which are expressed through behaviours and good communication skills that convey genuine concern’. A clear and multidimensional definition of clinical empathy will improve future education and research efforts in the application and impact of clinical empathy.
ISSN: 2044-6055
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045224
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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