At Private Home Care we are very proud to say that “Compassion is at the Heart of Our Care”. Through 45 years of experience in the home care industry, we understand first hand how important compassion is for our clients and their families.
But what exactly is compassion? The word compassion can be defined as “the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help”. Compassion is similar to empathy in that they both require the ability to see and understand another’s suffering, but compassion goes a step further and prompts the yearning and motivation to alleviate suffering in others.
Compassion has three parts: the emotion that one feels, which in response to the suffering of others, and which motivates a desire to help.
Why is it important in healthcare? Until recently, the formal role of compassion in healthcare has been overlooked. Recent scientific studies confirm what Private Home Care has been practicing and known intuitively for decades: that compassion is crucial for positive outcomes in medical care and home care. Dr Stephen Trzeciak found evidence-based effects of the importance of compassion in healthcare.
What is the evidence?
- Compassionate providers are more meticulous with care
- Psychological benefits: compassion can help prevent or limit stress-mediated disease, and can help regulate the patients’ experience of pain
- For diabetic patients: there is evidence that high levels of compassion can result in 80% higher odds of optimal blood sugar control!
- Proven immune system effects: even with the common cold, patients who reported high levels of compassion from healthcare providers had decreased severity of symptoms and a faster recovery.
- Compassion helps ease anxiety and lower stress levels for not only the patient, but for their family as well!
- Compassion can even impact patient self-care! If patients feel that they are cared about, they more be more likely to take their medicine (!) and have more positive outlooks.
- High levels of compassion towards patients or clients has been indicated to reduce hospitalizations.
- Stanford study found that you only need 40 seconds of compassion to make a meaningful difference
- For healthcare providers, compassion for others can have a positive effect on their own well being and encourage positive emotions!