Compassionate care enhancement: benefits and outcomes

Main Article Content

Stephen G Post


This review of outcome studies demonstrates that compassionate care benefits patients with regard to elected treatment adherence, wound healing, satisfaction, and well-being; it benefits physicians with regard to lowered depression rates, elevated meaning, lower burnout, and more diligent technical care; it benefits healthcare systems that establish reputational gains at no greater use of time or resources; it benefits medical students with regard to their diminished complaints of abusive clinical environments and maladaptive team interactions. There is no doubt that compassionate care has many dimensions of beneficial impact.

Article Details

Person-centered care: general aspects


. Miles, A. & Loughlin, M. (2011). Models in the balance: evidence-based medicine versus evidence-informed individualized care. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (4), 531-536.

. Miles, A. & Mezzich, J. E. (2011). The care of patient and the soul of the clinic: person-centered medicine as an emergent model of clinical practice. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 1 (2), 207-222.

. Peabody, F. W. (1927). The care of the patient. Journal of the American Medical Association 88, 877-882.

. Lown, B. (1996). The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine. New York: Ballantine Books.

. Groopman, J.(2009). Dilemmas for doctors. New York Review of Books 56 (20).

. Zuger, A. (2004), Dissatisfaction with medical practice. New England Journal of Medicine 350 (1), 69-75.

. Shanafelt, T.D. (2009). Enhancing the meaning of work: A prescription for preventing physician burnout and promoting patient-centered care. Journal of the American Medical Association 302 (12), 1338-1340.

. Krasner, M.S., Epstein, R.M., Beckman, H., Suchman, A.L., Chapman, B., Mooney, C.J. & Quill, T.E. (2009). Association of an educational program in mindful communication with burnout, empathy, and attitudes among primary care physicians. Journal of the American Medical Association 302 (12), 1284-1293.

. Rave, N., Geyer, M., Reeder, B., Ernst, J., Goldberg, L. & Barnard, C. (2003). Radical Systems Change: Innovative Strategies to Improve Patient Satisfaction. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 26 (2), 159-174.

. Coulehan, J. (2010). On humility. Annals of Internal Medicine 153 (3), 200-201.

. Safran, D.G., Montgomery, J.E., Chang, H., Murphy, J. & Rogers, W.H. (2001). Switching Doctors: Predictors of Voluntary Disenrollment from a Primary Physician’s Practice. Journal of Family Practice 50 (2), 130-136.

. Dyrbye, L.N. (2010). Relationship between burnout and professional conduct and attitudes among US medical students. Journal of the American Medical Association 304 (11), 1173-1180.

. Branch, W.T., Kern, D., Haidet, P., Weissmann, P., Gracey, C., Mitchell, G. & Inui, T. (2001). Teaching the human dimension of care in clinical settings. Journal of the American Medical Association 286 (9), 1067-1074.

. Levinson, W., Gorowara-Bhat, R. & Lamb, J. (2000). A study of patient clues and physician responses in primary care and surgical settings. Journal of the American Medical Association 284 (8), 1021-1027.

. Sequist, T.D., Schneider, E.C., Anastario, M., Odigie, E.G., Marchall, R., Rogers, W.H. & Safran, D.G. (2008). Quality monitoring of physicians: linking patients’ experiences of care to clinical quality and outcomes. Journal of General Internal Medicine 23 (11), 1784-1790.

. Greenfield, S., Kaplan, H.S., Ware, J.E., Yano, E.M. & Frank, H.J. (1988). Patients’ participation in medical care: effects of blood sugar control and quality of life in diabetes. Journal of General Internal Medicine 3 (5), 448-457.

. DiMatteo, M.R. (1994). Enhancing patient adherence to medical recommendations. Journal of the American Medical Association 271, 79-83.

. DiMatteo, M.R., Sherbourne, C.D., Hays, R.D., Ordway, L., Kravitz, R.L., McGlynn, E.A., Kaplan, S. & Rogers, W.H. (1993). Physicians’ characteristics influence patients’ adherence to medical treatment: results from the Medical Outcomes Study. Health Psychology 12 (2), 93-102.

. Beach, M.C., Keruly, J. & Moore, R.D. (2006). Is the quality of the patient-provider relationship associated with better adherence and health outcomes for patients with HIV? Journal of General Internal Medicine 21 (6), 661-665.

. Malarkey, W.B., Pearl, D.K., Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K. & Glaser, R. (1995). Influence of academic stress and season on 24-hour mean concentration of ACTH, cortisol, and beta-endorphin. Psychoneuroimmunology 20 (5), 499-508.

. Kiecolt-Glaser, J., Loving, T.J., Stowell, J.R., Malarkey, W.B., Lemeshow, S., Dickenson, S.L. & Glaser, R. (2005). Hostile marital interactions, proinflammatory cytokine production, and wound healing. Archives of General Psychiatry 62 (12), 1377-1384.

. Stewart, M. (1995). Effective physician-patient communications and health outcomes: A review. Canadian Medical Association Journal 152 (9), 1423-1433.

. Greenfield, S., Kaplan, S. & Ware, J.E. (1985). Expanding patient involvement in care. Annals of Internal Medicine 102 (4), 520-528.

. Fremont, A.M., Cleary, P.D., Hargraves, J.L., Rowe, R,M,, Jacobson, N.B. &Ayanian J.Z. (2001). Patient-centered processes of care and long-term outcomes of acute myocardial infarction. Journal of General Internal Medicine 16 (12), 800-808.

. Meterko, M., Wright, S., Lin, H., Lowy, E. & Cleary, P.D. (2010). Mortality among patients with acute myocardial infarction: the influences of patient-centered care and evidence-based medicine. Health Services Review 45 (5), 1188-1204.

. Chochinov, H.M., Hack, T., Hassard, T., Kristjanson, L.J., McClemnent, S. & Harlos, M. (2005). Dignity therapy: A novel psychotherapeutic intervention for patients near the end of life. Journal of Clinical Oncology 23 (24), 5520-5525.

. Chochinov, H.M., Hassard, T., McClement, S., Hack, T., Kristjanson, L.J., Harlos, M., Sinclair, S. & Murray, A. (2008). The patient dignity inventory: A novel way of measuring dignity related distress in palliative care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 36 (6), 559-571.

. Chochinov, H.M. (2004). Dignity and the eye of the beholder. Journal of Clinical Oncology 22 (7), 1336-1340.

. Hallowell, E. (2010). New York Times 27 March. B5.

. Hickson, G.B., Clayton, E.W., Entman, S.S., Miller, C.S., Githen, P.B., Whetten-Goldstein, K. & Sloan, F.A. (1994). Obstetricians’ prior malpractice experience and patients’ satisfaction with care. Journal of the American Medical Association 272 (20), 1583-1587.

. Fullam, F., Garman, A.N., Johnson, T.J. & Hedberg, E.C. (2009). The use of patient satisfaction Surveys and alternative coding procedures to predict malpractice risk. Medical Care 47 (5), 553-559.

. Goetz, J.L., Keltner, D. & Simon-Thomas, E. (2010). Compassion: An evolutionary analysis and empirical review. Psychological Bulletin 136 (3), 351-374.

. Mikulincer, M., Shaver, P.R., Gillath, O. & Nitzberg, R.A. (2005). Attachment, caregiving, and altruism: Boosting attachment security increases compassion and helping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 89 (5), 817-839.

. Campbell, C.D., Campbell, D., Krier, D., Kuehltham, R.D., Hilmes, J.S. & Stomberger, M.J. (2009). Reduction in burnout may be a benefit for short-term medical mission volunteers. Mental Health, Religion & Culture 12 (7) 627-637.

. Halpern, J. (2003). What is clinical empathy? Journal of General Internal Medicine 18 (8), 670-674.

. Halpern, J. (2007). Empathy and patient-physician conflicts. Journal of General Internal Medicine 22 (5), 696-700.

. Oman, D., Thoreson, C.E. & Hedberg, J. Does passage meditation foster compassionate love among health profesionals? A randomized Trial, Mental Health, Religion & Culture 13 (2), 129-154.