Research Article

Let us start an epidemic by giving away kindness

Yvonne Russer and Kuruvilla George*

Published: 07/04/2019 | Volume 3 - Issue 1 | Pages: 040-043

Review

‘Patients were left in soiled sheets or sitting on commodes for hours. Some patients needing pain relief got it late or not at all.’ These were a sample of the findings in the Francis Report which revealed severe failings in patient care in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. Recommendations in the Francis Report included the need to recruit compassionate staff and having compassion training for clinicians [1].Whether telling a young man that he has cancer or comforting an elderly woman who is feeling anxious, the health professional needs to be skilled in understanding what the other person is going through and respond appropriately.. The crisis of compassion in medicine is multifaceted in origin and some factors identified in the Francis Report were compassion fatigue, overwork, excess demand, lack of continuity and the failure to see the patient as a fellow human being [1]. Unfortunately modern medical practice prioritises technical progress, evidence-based medicine, meeting targets set by bureaucrats and efficiency at the expense of the ‘soul of medicine and medical practice’. Meeting key performance indicators (KPIs) has become the priority rather than the patient. Couple of other factors include increasing commercialisation of healthcare and the overemphasis of the biomedical model in medicine.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.cjncp.1001015 Cite this Article

References

  1. Robert Francis QC. Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry: executive summary. London: The Stationery Office, 2013. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2xqg2dP
  2. Gladkova A. Sympathy, compassion and empathy in English and Russian: a linguistic and cultural analysis. Culture Psychol. 2010;16: 267-285. Ref.: http://bit.ly/324BoLN
  3. Jeffrey D. Empathy, sympathy and compassion in healthcare: Is there a problem? Is there a difference? Does it matter? J Royal Society Med. 2016; 109: 446-452. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2KXeuR2
  4. Morse JM, Anderson G, Bottorff JL, Yonge O, O’Brien B, et al. Exploring empathy: a conceptual fit for nursing practice? Image J Nurs Sch. 1992; 24: 273-280. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2YqBQBM
  5. Rogers CR. On becoming a person. London: Constable, 1961.
  6. Irving P, Dickson D. Empathy: towards a conceptual framework for health professionals. Int J Health Care Qual Assur Inc Leadersh Health Ser. 2004; 17: 212-220. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2xuFEpT
  7. Rainville P. Brain mechanism of pain affect and pain modulation. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002; 12: 195-204. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2LxWoVj
  8. De Vignemont F, Singer T. The empathic brain: how, when and why? Trends Cog Sci. 2006; 10: 435-441. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2KSMzSp
  9. Dawson – Goodey E. Simple Kindness. Nursing Standard. 2011; 25: 26-27. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2J91cPx
  10. Pellegrino E, Thomasma D. The virtues in medical practice. Oxford University Press, New York: 1993. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2XgxewM
  11. Halifax J. G.R.A.C.E for nurses and cultivating compassion in nurse/patient interaction. J Nurs Education Practice. 2014; 4: 121-128. Ref.: http://bit.ly/329BSAb
  12. Pence GE. Can compassion be taught? J Medical Ethics. 1983; 9: 189-191. Ref.: http://bit.ly/308GN2u
  13. Fernando TA, Aroll B, Consedine NS. Enhancing compassion in general practice: it’s not all about the doctor. Br J Gen Pract. 2016; 66: 340-341. Ref.: http://bit.ly/2LzQL9c