Relevance for policies

These are on several domains, including:

  • Non-specific factors of psychotherapy – being to many researchers arguably the only factors that work – include empathy. For a possible reimbursement of psychotherapy, we need to maximize its efficacy.
  • The efficacy of CAM is based upon placebo and empathy. However, CAM is also problematic to many, as indicated in previous KCE studies. Heightening empathy in regular medicine, even within given time limits, is bound to alleviate the ‘CAM problem’.
  • We need a timely re-evaluation of entrance exams for medicine in which empathy tests play a substantial role. Is this on the right track?
  • For reimbursement issues, we need to know how important empathy can be in heightening the influence of medical encounters on health and quality of life. How much time (if any) is necessary to show more empathy? Are financial incentives important or is an enhanced physician-patient contact itself the best incentive?
  • What concrete communications may be important to reach and motivate caregivers?
  • How can we put an interest in empathy into a general guideline about empathy?