News Release 

Diabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have lower risk of mortality

American Academy of Family Physicians

A United Kingdom study designed to examine the association between primary care practitioner empathy and incidence of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality among type 2 diabetes patients found that those patients experiencing greater empathy in the year following their diagnosis saw beneficial long-term clinical outcomes. Using the consultation and relational empathy (CARE) questionnaire, which measures patients' experience of care with a focus on empathy, a numerical score for 628 participants from 49 general practices in East Anglia, UK, was computed 12 months after diagnosis. Those patients reporting better experiences of empathy had a lower risk (40-50%) of all-cause mortality over the subsequent 10 years compared with those reporting low practitioner empathy. While medicine moves increasingly towards precision, target-driven health care and technology-based assessment models, these findings suggest that interpersonal, empathic care may be an important determinant in the risk of mortality.

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Association Between Primary Care Practitioner Empathy and Risk of Cardiovascular Events and All-Cause Mortality Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study
Hajira Dambha-Miller, MRCGP, PhD et al
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
http://www.annfammed.org/content/17/4/311

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