Emotional support key in cancer treatment

8 Jan 2008
Research printed in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has identified a link between a more emphatic caring approach from oncologists and a reduction in patient anxiety and increased patient satisfaction.

The researchers, based at Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, North Carolina, USA, concluded:

"Oncologists encountered few empathic opportunities and responded with empathic statements infrequently. Empathic responses were more prevalent among younger oncologists and among those who were self-rated as socioemotional. To reduce patient anxiety and increase patient satisfaction and adherence, oncologists may need training to encourage patients to express emotions and to respond empathically to patients' emotions."

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