If You Could Read My Mind: The Role of Healthcare Providers’ Empathic and Communicative Competencies in Clients’ Satisfaction with Consultations

Iete Schrooten, Menno D.T. de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
101 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between healthcare providers’ empathic and communicative competencies and clients’ overall satisfaction with consultations. Two aspects of empathy were included: empathic attitude (sensitivity to the clients’ perspective) and empathic skills (ability to estimate clients’ evaluations). Communicative competencies were narrowed down to the clarity of the information provided. In the context of work disability examinations, 90 healthcare providers (44% physicians, 56% vocational experts) participated. For each provider, up to 20 dyads with clients were investigated. Within every dyad, clients rated their experiences and healthcare providers estimated clients’ scores. The results show that both aspects of empathy and clarity of information significantly contribute to clients’ overall satisfaction and as such confirm the importance of empathy and communication in medical consultations. Specifically, healthcare providers’ empathic dispositions, in addition to their overt communicative behavior, appear to contribute to clients’ overall satisfaction. Of the two aspects of empathy, only empathic attitude is significantly related to the clarity of information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
JournalHealth communication
Volume32
Issue number1
Early online date13 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • IR-100470
  • METIS-316971

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