Why we should understand the patient experience: clinical empathy and medicines optimisation

Barry Jubraj, Nina L. Barnett, Lesley Grimes, Sneha Varia, Angel Chater, Vivian Auyeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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To critically discuss the need for pharmacists to underpin their consultations with appropriate ‘clinical empathy’ as part of effective medicines optimisation.

Use of literature around empathy, consultation and pharmacy practice to develop a case for greater clinical empathy in pharmacy consultations.
Key findings

Clinical empathy is defined from the literature and applied to pharmacy consultations, with a comparison to empathy in other clinical professions. Historical barriers to the embedding of clinical empathy into pharmacy consultations are also explored.

We challenge the pharmacy profession to consider how clinical empathy should underpin consultations with a series of introspective questions and provide some sample questions to support pharmacy consultations. We also make the case for appropriate education and professional development of consultation skills at undergraduate and postgraduate level. We contend that patients’ relationships with practitioners are critical, and a lack of empathy can impact the effectiveness of care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International journal of pharmacy practice
Early online date21 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • clinical empathy, patient experience, pharmacists


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