Effect of Clinician-Expressed Empathy in Advanced Cancer on Different Ethnic Groups: Results from an Experimental Video-Vignette Study

Link to article at PubMed

J Palliat Med. 2023 May 10. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2022.0602. Online ahead of print.


Background: In advanced cancer, clinician-expressed empathy can improve patients' psychological outcomes. It remains unknown whether all patients benefit equally from empathy. Objective: To explore whether the effect of clinician-expressed empathy on patients' psychological outcomes is moderated by patient ethnicity. Methods: Using an experimental video-vignette design, 160 participants watched a consultation-video with/without added empathy. Using regression analysis, the moderating effect of ethnicity (non-Western- vs. Dutch/Western-immigration background) on the relationship between empathy and psychological outcomes was assessed. Results: The main effect of empathy on satisfaction (p = 0.001), trust (p = 0.002), and self-efficacy (p < 0.001) was moderated by ethnicity (satisfaction, p = 0.050; trust, p = 0.066; self-efficacy, p = 0.075). No main effect of empathy nor moderation by ethnicity was found for anxiety (state anxiety: p = 0.284, p = 0.319; current anxiety: p = 0.357, p = 0.949). No main effects of ethnicity (satisfaction, p = 0.942; trust, p = 0.724; self-efficacy, p = 0.244; state anxiety, p = 0.812; current anxiety p = 0.523) were found. Conclusion: In advanced cancer, non-Western patients might benefit most from empathy. Dutch Trial Registration Number: NTR NL8992.

PMID:37162756 | DOI:10.1089/jpm.2022.0602

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