3 Ways Your Doctor’s Empathy Impacts Your Health

Female doctor giving compassionate care to patientWhen you’re sick or managing a chronic health issue, you turn to your doctor for medical knowledge and expertise. As it turns out, a doctor’s compassion and empathy also has an impact on recovery. While intelligence and skill are important qualities in selecting a doctor, you’ll also benefit if your physician offers a listening ear and compassionate treatment, according to a number of studies.

Here are three ways research has proven that an empathetic physician makes a difference for patients:

  • Faster Recovery

A 2011 study at the University of Wisconsin found that among 700 patients who had the common cold, patients who rated their doctors as very empathetic reported colds lasting fewer days and having less severe symptoms than patients who gave doctors lower empathy scores. Other studies have shown that respectful doctor-patient communication creates a feeling of security in patients and also leads to faster recovery.

  • Less Pain 

When patients feel they are receiving care in a nurturing environment, the hormone oxytocin is released, helping patients to feel less anxious and lowering the perception of pain. This effect has been noted in numerous studies, including one study that tracked patients with back pain. Those who perceived a high degree of empathy from their doctors experienced better pain relief according to research published in The Spine Journal.

  • Better Long-Term Health

Diabetic patients who assigned their doctor a high empathy score had better control of blood sugar levels (as measured by A1c) and LDL cholesterol levels compared to patients who gave their physician a lower empathy score, according to a study published at the Jefferson College of Medicine in Philadelphia. When doctors show care and concern, patients are better able to listen to recommendations and more likely to follow the doctor’s advice.

Looking for a Compassionate Doctor?

If you’re looking for a doctor that is committed to compassionate care and building strong doctor-patient relationships, schedule an appointment with a LeBauer HealthCare doctor today. The entire LeBauer team is dedicated to patient-centered care that puts patient needs at the heart of everything we do.

To find a physician that is convenient to your home or work, view a map of our office locations throughout the Greensboro, Burlington, and High Point areas.

Find a LeBauer Near You

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