Jeremy Howick is
senior researcher at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health
Services at University of Oxford. His research lies at the crossroads of
philosophy and medicine. His interest in empathetic care grew out of his
interest in placebo effects.
Jeremy is also founder and director of the
The Oxford Empathetic Care
The Oxford Empathetic Care Programme (OxCare) is an
interdisciplinary research group that includes medical practitioners,
philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists.
the importance of empathy in clinical practice.
This includes empathetic relationships between patients (and their
families) and healthcare practitioners, as well as empathetic
relationships between healthcare systems and patients/practitioners. Objectives
develop and maintain a glossary of empathy (and related terms) definitions
2. To maintain a database of key measures of empathy
3. To identify and reduce contextual obstacles to empathy
4. Explore the relationship between evidence-based healthcare and
5. To develop empathy training for healthcare practitioners and healthcare
6. To develop a research program
7. To identify obstacles and facilitators to empathy
8. Explore the relevance of empathy to professional burnout and stress
9. To investigate whether the current model of revalidation is empathetic
10. To investigate how can empathetic care improve value-based healthcare
"The main aim of thisreviewwill
be to assess the effects of changing practitioner empathy or patient
expectations for all conditions. The mainobjectiveis
to conduct asystematic
randomised trials where theinterventioninvolves
manipulating either (a) practitioner empathy or (b) patient
expectations, or (c) both."
"Empathetic doctors who communicate well can improve patient outcomes as
much as some blockbuster drugs. A common response to this statement is:
“Maybe being nice improves someone’s psychology, but it can’t improve
In fact dozens of studies show that patients’ expectations (for example
after being given a placebo, or a positive suggestion such as “this pill
is really going to make you better”) can improve both symptoms and
biological causes of pain, anxiety, Parkinson’s Disease, and many other
Howick J, Ulyte A, Steinkopf L, Meissner K. Measuring practitioner
empathy with patient surveys: a systematic review and meta-analysis
(protocol). PROSPERO record no. CRD42016037456.