chapter
Introduction
Pages 6

To be an effective healthcare practitioner therefore requires mastery of not only the technical aspects of care but also of the human aspects (Campbell et al., 2000). Research has consistently shown that patients rate empathic communication and patient-centredness as top priorities (Stewart et al., 2003; Wensing et al., 1998; Little et al., 2000; Mercer & Reynolds, 2002; Mercer et al., 2004, 2007). Training can improve both clinical empathy (Mercer & Reynolds 2002; Reiss et al., 2012; Batt-Rawden et al., 2013) and patient-centredness (Dwamena et al., 2012). Empathic, patient-centred care improves health outcomes (Little et al., 2001; Griffi n et al., 2004; Bikker et al., 2005; Mercer et al., 2008; Derkson et al., 2013). This applies to both acute (Rakel et al., 2011) and chronic (Hojat et al., 2011) conditions.