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Improving empathy in the care of pain patients

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Taylor & Francis
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Empathy is associated with countless benefits in clinical interactions, yet it is not always optimal in health care providers. Social neuroscience offers a window onto the cerebral processes underlying the complex relationships between the multiple components of empathy, patient care, and the caregiver’s well-being. Neuroimaging studies have revealed patterns of empathyrelated neural responses that shed some light on the mechanisms that could partially explain the phenomena of empathy decline and pain underestimation in health care providers. Such information, complementary to behavioral research findings, may help develop new means of improving empathy in health care, as long as interpretation of neuroimaging data remains grounded. Additionally, research on empathy in this context has largely focused on how clinicians’ empathy may affect patient outcomes, but the relationship between empathy and well-being in health care providers is often neglected. The quest to optimize empathy in patient–clinician interactions must take into account the welfare of both members of this dyad.
AJOB neuroscience, Vol. 6 (3), 25–33 (2015)
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Cognition , Emotion , Empathy , Neuroscience , Neuroimaging , Pain
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article de recherche