Compassionate clinicians: take patient care beyond the ordinary

Holist Nurs Pract. Mar-Apr 2004;18(2):87-94. doi: 10.1097/00004650-200403000-00006.


This study sought to identify specific actions, interventions, and interpersonal relationships with patients exhibited by a group of compassionate healthcare clinicians. Researchers interviewed 24 hospital clinicians who were identified by administrators as being exemplary in caring and compassion. Analysis of qualitative data indicated that the clinicians do not attempt to distance themselves, but develop warm, empathic relationships with patients. Participating clinicians did not appear to sacrifice objectivity in practicing compassionate care, but were able to integrate the mind and heart in their work. Based on the qualitative analyses, researchers developed a preliminary model of affective clinician/patient interactions.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / standards
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Empathy*
  • Hospitals, Religious / standards
  • Humans
  • Medical Staff, Hospital* / ethics
  • Medical Staff, Hospital* / standards
  • Physician-Patient Relations* / ethics
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Southeastern United States
  • Surveys and Questionnaires