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Chatbots' Empathy Is Viewed as More Favorable Over Physicians by Some Patients
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Saturday, May 6, 2023

Published in
2 min read1 hour ago


The world of artificial intelligence and its chatbots is challenging the view that the algorithms fail on empathy, but patients don’t believe that.

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The tremendous strides being made in artificial intelligence through deep learning are picking up steam in every area of our lives, and now they are being tested in terms of their emotional connections with patients. The results of many surveys of patient satisfaction, usually accompanying patient visits to physicians or hospitals, have shown empathy to be of paramount importance.

In one study, where physician interactions with lung cancer patients were audio recorded, physicians responded empathically to statements of distress only 10 percent of the time. Another study indicated that physicians interrupt their patients, on average, within the first 18–30 seconds.

Considering the dismal results of some of these studies, time constraints, and physicians' habits, we may need to consider how to improve patient care. How do physicians stack up in this area where patient care is faced with chatbot competition? It would appear not to be very well, sometimes, and, in other situations, quite well. Could the new fifteen-minute medical office check-ins in healthcare situations play a role in all of this?

The potential of chatbots to enhance patient-provider empathy must be considered. Empathy is a crucial component of effective patient care. When medical practitioners empathize with their patients’ suffering, it can, however, become overwhelming. Several cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and moral abilities are all required to deal with the pain of others.

But empathic chatbots may not be the solution we seek, although they may provide some comfort for specific patient populations. When providing care for patients with dementia, chatbots may serve to address the respite needs of caregivers in emotionally and physically demanding situations.

Studies acknowledge that the medical expertise employed in chatbot programming and the degree of empathy displayed by healthcare professionals who create and use them determine how effective chatbot treatments are. Obviously, the human element cannot be dismissed.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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