The Empathy Initiative
Transforming Healthcare Education & Practice

Measuring empathy training effectiveness

Enhancing the quality of healthcare consumer(HCC) care and healthcare staff (HCS) wellbeing through the implementation of an empathy immersion training program.

  Project information   Empathy is a basic component of all therapeutic relationships and fundamental to quality healthcare. Over 200 studies attest to the benefits of empathic engagement with HCC such as: decreased levels of depression, anxiety, distress; and increased levels of emotional wellbeing, satisfaction and adherence to treatment regimens. Empathic encounters with HCS have also been linked to a range of improved physiological outcomes such as improved tissue healing, immunity, cancer survival rates; and a reduction in diabetic complications, blood pressure and pain. For HCS, empathy enhances diagnostic accuracy and is linked to job satisfaction, resilience and coping skills. When HCS do not possess a requisite level of empathy skills they are at higher risk of burnout, distress, depression and attrition.  This pilot study will focus on testing the feasibility and effectiveness of an empathy training program in a clinical setting and will examine the impact on the quality of patient care and staff wellbeing.   Research question   To what extent does an empathy immersion program impact:  · Healthcare staff empathy levels · Healthcare cultures · Healthcare consumers’ perceptions of the extent to which they consider healthcare staff and their healthcare experiences to be empathic · Patient-Reported Outcome Measures   This project has been funded by a University of Technology Health Futures Development Grant.

Project information

Empathy is a basic component of all therapeutic relationships and fundamental to quality healthcare. Over 200 studies attest to the benefits of empathic engagement with HCC such as: decreased levels of depression, anxiety, distress; and increased levels of emotional wellbeing, satisfaction and adherence to treatment regimens. Empathic encounters with HCS have also been linked to a range of improved physiological outcomes such as improved tissue healing, immunity, cancer survival rates; and a reduction in diabetic complications, blood pressure and pain. For HCS, empathy enhances diagnostic accuracy and is linked to job satisfaction, resilience and coping skills. When HCS do not possess a requisite level of empathy skills they are at higher risk of burnout, distress, depression and attrition.

This pilot study will focus on testing the feasibility and effectiveness of an empathy training program in a clinical setting and will examine the impact on the quality of patient care and staff wellbeing.

Research question

To what extent does an empathy immersion program impact:

· Healthcare staff empathy levels
· Healthcare cultures
· Healthcare consumers’ perceptions of the extent to which they consider healthcare staff and their healthcare experiences to be empathic
· Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

This project has been funded by a University of Technology Health Futures Development Grant.