Compassionomics: Hypothesis and experimental approach

Med Hypotheses. 2017 Sep;107:92-97. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2017.08.015. Epub 2017 Aug 12.


Recent reports indicate that healthcare is experiencing a compassion crisis - an absence of (or inconsistency in) compassionate patient care. It is currently unclear if, or to what extent, this exerts significant effects on health and healthcare. Experimental data are few, and this represents a critical knowledge gap for all health sciences. We hypothesize that compassionate care is beneficial for patients (better outcomes), healthcare systems and payers (lower costs), and healthcare providers (lower burnout). Compassionomics is the branch of knowledge and scientific study of the effects of compassionate healthcare, and herein we describe a framework for hypothesis testing. If the hypotheses are confirmed, compassionate healthcare can be established in the domain of evidence-based medicine.

Keywords: Clinical trial design; Clinical trials; Compassion; Empathy; Healthcare; Humanism.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Empathy*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Professional-Patient Relations