Why we should understand the patient experience: clinical empathy and medicines optimisation
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AbstractObjectives To critically discuss the need for pharmacists to underpin their consultations with appropriate ‘clinical empathy’ as part of effective medicines optimisation. Methods Use of literature around empathy, consultation and pharmacy practice to develop a case for greater clinical empathy in pharmacy consultations. Key findings Clinical empathy is defined from the literature and applied to pharmacy consultations, with a comparison to empathy in other clinical professions. Historical barriers to the embedding of clinical empathy into pharmacy consultations are also explored. Conclusions We challenge the pharmacy profession to consider how clinical empathy should underpin consultations with a series of introspective questions and provide some sample questions to support pharmacy consultations. We also make the case for appropriate education and professional development of consultation skills at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We contend that patients’ relationships with practitioners are critical, and a lack of empathy can impact the effectiveness of care.
CitationJubraj, B., Barnett, N., Grimes, L., Varia, S., Chater, A., & Auyeung, V. (2016) 'Why we should understand the patient experience: clinical empathy and medicines optimisation', International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 24 (5), pp.367-370.
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