Mimicking non-verbal emotional expressions and empathy development in simulated consultations : an experimental feasibility study
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Objective : To explore the feasibility of applying an experimental design to study the relationship between non-verbal emotions and empathy development in simulated consultations. Method : In video-recorded simulated consultations, twenty clinicians were randomly allocated to either an experimental group (instructed to mimic non-verbal emotions of a simulated patient, SP) or a control group (no such instruction). Baseline empathy scores were obtained before consultation, relational empathy was rated by SP after consultation. Multilevel logistic regression modelled the probability of mimicry occurrence, controlling for baseline empathy and clinical experience. ANCOVA compared group differences on relational empathy and consultation smoothness. Results : Instructed mimicry lasted longer than spontaneous mimicry. Mimicry was marginally related to improved relational empathy. SP felt being treated more like a whole person during consultations with spontaneous mimicry. Clinicians who displayed spontaneous mimicry felt consultations went more smoothly. Conclusion : The experimental approach improved our understanding of how non-verbal emotional mimicry contributed to relational empathy development during consultations. Further work should ascertain the potential of instructed mimicry to enhance empathy development. Practice implications : Understanding how non-verbal emotional mimicry impacts on patients' perceived clinician empathy during consultations may inform training and intervention programme development.
Zhou , Y & Fischer , M H 2018 , ' Mimicking non-verbal emotional expressions and empathy development in simulated consultations : an experimental feasibility study ' , Patient Education and Counseling , vol. 101 , no. 2 , pp. 304-309 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2017.08.016
Patient Education and Counseling
© 2017, Elsevier B.V. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2017.08.016
DescriptionThe authors are grateful to the Carnegie Trust (RIG 70156), who generously funded this project.
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