Practitioner Empathy Interventions Can Improve Patient Satisfaction

Inadequate reporting hindered ability to draw definitive conclusions relating to overall effect size
Practitioner Empathy Interventions Can Improve Patient Satisfaction
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Health care practitioner empathy interventions seem to improve patient satisfaction, but inadequate reporting hinders the ability to draw definitive conclusions relating to the overall effect size, according to a review published online Jan. 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Leila Keshtkar, Ph.D., from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of randomized trials to examine the effect of health care practitioner empathy on patient satisfaction. The analysis included 14 randomized trials with 80 practitioners and 1,986 patients.

Five of the studies had a high risk for bias and nine had some concerns about bias. In terms of geographic locations, settings, practitioner types, and type of randomization, the trials were heterogeneous. The researchers found that a positive change in patient satisfaction was suggested in all trials; however, the ability to draw definitive conclusions about the overall effect size was hindered by inadequate reporting.

"Although all studies found improvements in patient satisfaction, the ability to draw conclusions was limited by concerns about the quality and applicability of the underpinning evidence," the authors write. "Development, testing, and reporting of high-quality studies within well-defined contexts is needed to optimize empathy interventions that increase patient satisfaction."

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