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Moudatsou, M.; A. Stavropoulou, A. Philalidis, et al. (2020)   CC

Healthcare 2020, 8(1), 26; The current article is an integrative and analytical literature review on the concept and meaning of empathy in health and social care professionals. Empathy, i.e., the ability to understand the personal experience of the patient without bonding with them, constitutes an important communication skill for a health professional, one that includes three dimensions: the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. It has been proven that health professionals with high levels of empathy operate more efficiently as to the fulfillment of their role in eliciting therapeutic change.The empathetic professional comprehends the needs of the health care users, as the latter feel safe to express the thoughts and problems that concern them. Although the importance of empathy is undeniable, a significantly high percentage of health professionals seem to find it difficult to adopt a model of empathetic communication in their everyday practice. Some of the factors that negatively influence the development of empathy are the high number of patients that professionals have to manage, the lack of adequate time, the focus on therapy within the existing academic culture, but also the lack of education in empathy. Developing empathetic skills should not only be the underlying objective in the teaching process of health and social care undergraduate students, but also the subject of the lifelong and continuous education of professionals

nurses,  Health Workers,  healthcare,  empathy,  communication skills,  study,  practice,  health care users,