Format

Send to

Choose Destination

See 1 citation found by title matching your search:

BMJ Open. 2018 Feb 28;8(2):e020007. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020007.

Empathy, burn-out and the use of gut feeling: a cross-sectional survey of Danish general practitioners.

Author information

1
Research Unit for General Practice and Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care (CaP), Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
2
Emergency Department, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Research has suggested that physicians' gut feelings are associated with parents' concerns for the well-being of their children. Gut feeling is particularly important in diagnosis of serious low-incidence diseases in primary care. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether empathy, that is, the ability to understand what another person is experiencing, relates to general practitioners' (GPs) use of gut feelings. Since empathy is associated with burn-out, we also examined whether the hypothesised influence of empathy on gut feeling use is dependent on level of burn-out.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Participants completed the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy and The Maslach Burnout Inventory.

SETTING:

Primary care.

PARTICIPANTS:

588 active GPs in Central Denmark Region (response rate=70%).

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

Self-reported use of gut feelings in clinical practice.

RESULTS:

GPs who scored in the highest quartile of the empathy scale had fourfold the odds of increased use of gut feelings compared with GPs in the lowest empathy quartile (OR 3.99, 95% CI 2.51 to 6.34) when adjusting for the influence of possible confounders. Burn-out was not statistically significantly associated with use of gut feelings (OR 1.29, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.83), and no significant interaction effects between empathy and burn-out were revealed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Physician empathy, but not burn-out, was strongly associated with use of gut feelings in primary care. As preliminary results suggest that gut feelings have diagnostic value, these findings highlight the importance of incorporating empathy and interpersonal skills into medical training to increase sensitivity to patient concern and thereby increase the use and reliability of gut feeling.

KEYWORDS:

clinical decision-making; early diagnosis; empathy; general practice; self-report

PMID:
29490966
PMCID:
PMC5855338
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center