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Empathic understanding

Lindsay J Blazin, Cherilyn Cecchini, Catherine Habashy, Erica C Kaye, Justin N Baker
Effective communication is essential to the practice of pediatric oncology. Clear and empathic delivery of diagnostic and prognostic information positively impacts the ways in which patients and families cope. Honest, compassionate discussions regarding goals of care and hopes for patients approaching end of life can provide healing when other therapies have failed. Effective communication and the positive relationships it fosters also can provide comfort to families grieving the loss of a child. A robust body of evidence demonstrates the benefits of optimal communication for patients, families, and healthcare providers...
March 11, 2018: Children
Matthew Sachs, Assal Habibi, Antonio Damasio, Jonas Kaplan
Effective social functioning relies in part on the ability to identify emotions from auditory stimuli and respond appropriately. Previous studies have uncovered brain regions engaged by the affective information conveyed by sound. But some of the acoustical properties of sounds that express certain emotions vary remarkably with the instrument used to produce them, for example the human voice or a violin. Do these brain regions respond in the same way to different emotions regardless of the sound source? To address this question, we had participants (N = 38, 20 females) listen to brief audio excerpts produced by the violin, clarinet, and human voice, each conveying one of three target emotions-happiness, sadness, and fear-while brain activity was measured with fMRI...
March 1, 2018: NeuroImage
Rianne van Rooijen, Caroline M M Junge, Chantal Kemner
During puberty a dip in face recognition is often observed, possibly caused by heightened levels of gonadal hormones which in turn affects the re-organization of relevant cortical circuitry. In the current study we investigated whether a pubertal dip could be observed in three other abilities related to social information processing: gaze following, emotion recognition from the eyes, and empathizing abilities. Across these abilities we further explored whether these measurements revealed sex differences as another way to understand how gonadal hormones affect processing of social information...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Chrystyna D Kouros, Lauren M Papp
This study examined couples' perceptions of each other's daily affect, using a daily diary methodology. Specifically, we tested the extent to which couples accurately inferred how their partner was feeling (empathic accuracy) and the extent to which spouses used their own feelings as a gauge for how their partner was feeling (assumed similarity). We also tested for indirect accuracy in couples' perceptions; that is, that assumed similarity in the context of actual similarity leads to empathic accuracy. Participants were 51 couples who completed daily diaries for seven consecutive nights...
February 23, 2018: Family Process
Conny A M F H Span-Sluyter, Jan C M Lavrijsen, Evert van Leeuwen, Raymond T C M Koopmans
BACKGROUND: Patients in a vegetative state/ unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS) pose ethical dilemmas to those involved. Many conflicts occur between professionals and families of these patients. In the Netherlands physicians are supposed to withdraw life sustaining treatment once recovery is not to be expected. Yet these patients have shown to survive sometimes for decades. The role of the families is thought to be important. The aim of this study was to make an inventory of the professional perspective on conflicts in long-term care of patients in VS/UWS...
February 22, 2018: BMC Medical Ethics
Kirsten Arnett, Alexandra Roach, Meredith Elzy, Laura Jelsone-Swain
Empathy is a critical aspect of social behavior, and impairment in empathic processing is linked to hindered social interactions and several disorders. Despite much interest in this topic, our understanding of the developmental and neural involvement for empathic processing is limited. Recent evidence suggests the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) may play a role in this behavior, and that mu rhythm suppression found over the sensorimotor cortices may be a proxy for the MNS. Therefore, we aimed to measure mu rhythm oscillations in response to empathic processing during observation of painful action-based situations using electroencephalogram (EEG)...
February 16, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Riccardo Paracampo, Martina Pirruccio, Marco Costa, Sara Borgomaneri, Alessio Avenanti
Functional imaging studies suggest that accurate understanding of others' emotional feelings (i.e., empathic accuracy, EA) recruits high-order visual, sensorimotor and mentalizing brain networks. However, the behavioral relevance of these findings is unclear. To fill in this gap, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to interfere with the right superior temporal sulcus (STS), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and temporoparietal junction (TPJ) during an EA task requiring participants to infer the enjoyment felt by a social target while smiling/laughing...
February 1, 2018: Neuropsychologia
Jane Quinlan, Felicia Cox
Managing patients with dependence requires knowledge of pharmacology; an understanding of the diagnosis of dependence and recognition of withdrawal; skills in communication and collaborative working; and a nonjudgmental, empathic attitude.
July 2017: Pain Reports (Baltimore, Md.)
John H Spreadbury, Christopher M Kipps
AIM: Psychosocial research on the lived experiences of young-onset dementia patients and caregivers has identified salient issues about their care, however, views on care from the perspective of young-onset dementia healthcare professionals is less well known. The aim of this study was to investigate and identify important issues in young-onset dementia care provision from a healthcare provider perspective. METHODS: The design was an exploratory qualitative interview study...
January 26, 2018: Neurodegenerative Disease Management
David Hui, Donna S Zhukovsky, Eduardo Bruera
Serious illness conversations can influence the direction of care by supporting decision-making compatible with the patient's goals. Effective use of core communication techniques, such as active listening and empathic statements, allows for a deeper understanding of the patients' goals, concerns, communication preferences, and questions. Metaphors can be used to augment end-of-life care planning. Used inappropriately, metaphors can cause misunderstandings and confusion. Applied skillfully, metaphors can personalize challenging discussions, improving patient comprehension and helping patients and their families to plan ahead...
January 25, 2018: Oncologist
Gianluigi Zaza, Simona Granata, Chiara Caletti, Lorenzo Signorini, Giovanni Stallone, Antonio Lupo
The mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (mTOR-I), drugs widely used in transplant medicine and oncology, exert their function by inhibiting a serine/threonine kinase with a pivotal role in cellular metabolism and in a wide range of eukaryotic biological/cellular functions and signaling networks. Additionally, as largely described, the inhibition of mTOR has a major impact on cellular metabolism by stimulating synthesis of proteins and lipids, inhibiting catabolic processes, such as lysosome biogenesis and autophagy, and controlling cell survival, cytoskeleton organization, lipogenesis, and gluconeogenesis...
February 2018: Transplantation
Julie J Lanz, Paul J Gregory, Mariano E Menendez, Larry Harmon
OBJECTIVE: Physician performance is a complex construct that is broadly defined by technical and nontechnical components. The primary aim of this study was to identify which Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability) in surgeons were related to patient satisfaction and teamwork performance in a surgical setting. A secondary aim of this study was to examine the specific perceptions of physician behavior related to patient satisfaction and teamwork performance...
January 17, 2018: Journal of Surgical Education
Tyrone C Cheng, Celia C Lo
This study examined the impact, on therapeutic alliances, made by client motivation to change, insight, mistrust, and other factors; as well as therapist's clinical experience. This secondary data analysis used a sample of 212 client respondents extracted from the Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program's data set. Results of generalized least squares random-effects modeling showed a significant impact exerted by client social-adjustment difficulties, insight, alcohol use, and gender; and client-therapist matching gender...
January 9, 2018: Community Mental Health Journal
Daniel R Berry, Athena H Cairo, Robert J Goodman, Jordan T Quaglia, Jeffrey D Green, Kirk Warren Brown
Four studies tested the proposition that mindfulness and its training fostered prosociality toward ostracized strangers. In discovery Study 1, dispositional mindfulness predicted greater empathic concern for, and more helping behavior toward, an ostracized stranger. Using an experimental design, Study 2 revealed that very briefly instructed mindfulness, relative to active control instructions, also promoted prosocial responsiveness to an ostracized stranger. Study 3 ruled out alternative explanations for this effect of mindfulness, showing that it did not promote empathic anger or perpetrator punishment, nor that the control training reduced prosocial responsiveness toward an ostracized stranger rather than mindfulness increasing it...
January 2018: Journal of Experimental Psychology. General
Veronika Engert, Amy M Ragsdale, Tania Singer
In laboratory environments individuals may display empathic cortisol stress responses merely from observing another experience psychosocial stress. Moreover, within couples, women synchronize their own to their partners' cortisol release. We investigated whether a woman's tendency to experience such cortisol stress resonance in a controlled laboratory task is associated with the degree to which her and her partner's diurnal cortisol levels covary in a naturalistic environment. Such habitual cortisol covariation may be a pathway via which close relationships influence health outcomes...
January 4, 2018: Hormones and Behavior
Zoë Chouliara, Thanos Karatzias, Angela Gullone, Sandra Ferguson, Katie Cosgrove, Claire Burke Draucker
Our understanding of therapeutic change processes in group therapy for complex interpersonal trauma has been limited. The present study aimed at addressing this gap by developing a framework of therapeutic change in this field from a survivor and therapist perspective. This is a qualitative study, which utilized semistructured individual interviews. Transcripts were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to identify recurrent themes. A final sample of n = 16 patients and n = 5 facilitators completed the interview...
April 1, 2017: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Charlene Rapsey, Anna Campbell, Ken Clearwater, Tess Patterson
Childhood sexual abuse of males is not uncommon with estimated prevalence rates across countries and different studies indicating that 8% of boys experience sexual abuse before age 18. A number of adverse outcomes are recognized in terms of mental health, behavioral, and relational difficulties. However, research also indicates that there is potential for healing. The present study explores the barriers, benefits, and processes involved in engagement in formal therapy for adult survivors of CSA from the male survivor's point of view...
March 1, 2017: Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Carlos Centeno, Carole Robinson, Antonio Noguera-Tejedor, María Arantzamendi, Fernando Echarri, José Pereira
BACKGROUND: Medical Schools are challenged to improve palliative care education and to find ways to introduce and nurture attitudes and behaviours such as empathy, patient-centred care and wholistic care. This paper describes the curriculum and evaluation results of a unique course centred on palliative care decision-making but aimed at introducing these other important competencies as well. METHODS: The 20 h-long optional course, presented in an art museum, combined different learning methods, including reflections on art, case studies, didactic sessions, personal experiences of faculty, reflective trigger videos and group discussions...
December 16, 2017: BMC Medical Education
Paul S Cullis, Carl Davis
George Macaulay (1716-1766) was a Scot admired for his work as an obstetric physician, philanthropist, author, and feminist, but whom history has largely forgotten. In a time rampant with misogyny, Macaulay empathized with women, discouraged sexism within institutions, and contributed to the training of midwives. He spent much of his career working at the British Lying-in Hospital in London. Perhaps most importantly, he worked tirelessly for this hospital, contributed to various medical innovations, and reported several medical cases throughout his career, including that of congenital diaphragmatic hernia, almost a century before the anatomist whose eponymous name it bears...
November 12, 2017: Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Patricia L Lockwood, Yuen-Siang Ang, Masud Husain, Molly J Crockett
Empathy - the capacity to understand and resonate with the experiences of other people - is considered an essential aspect of social cognition. However, although empathy is often thought to be automatic, recent theories have argued that there is a key role for motivation in modulating empathic experiences. Here we administered self-report measures of empathy and apathy-motivation to a large sample of healthy people (n = 378) to test whether people who are more empathic are also more motivated. We then sought to replicate our findings in an independent sample (n = 198) that also completed a behavioural task to measure state affective empathy and emotion recognition...
December 11, 2017: Scientific Reports
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