Humanism in Medicine Research Roundup – July 2014

Nurse and child

At the end of every month, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation compiles the Research Roundup, a list of recently published studies on humanism in medicine.  If you would like to be notified each time these are published, send an email to with the subject line “Subscribe RR”.

Attitudes and habits of highly humanistic physicians 
Chou CM, Kellom K, Shea JA.    Acad Med. 2014 Jul 8. Researchers interview physicians identified for their humanistic patient care.  Attitudes for sustaining humanism in this cohort  included humility and curiosity. Many of the physicians deliberately worked at maintaining their humanistic attitudes by engaging in self-reflection, connecting with patients, teaching and role modeling, and achieving work-life balance. See blog post by Dr. Chou

Formation of medical student professional identity: Categorizing lapses of professionalism, and the learning environment
Hendelman W, Byszewski A.    BMC Med Educ. 2014 Jul 9;14(1):139.
Researchers surveyed medical students about lapses in professionalism that they had witnessed during their four year education. 36% of students had witnessed or been part of an exemplary demonstration of professionalism; 64% had witnessed a lapse of professionalism. The most frequent lapses involved arrogance, impairment, breach of confidentiality or cultural/religious insensitivity.

Burnout, compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and secondary traumatic stress in trauma nurses
Hinderer KA, VonRueden KT, et al.    J Trauma Nurs. 2014 Jul-Aug;21(4):160-9. In a sample of 128 trauma nurses, researchers found that 35% were suffering from burnout, 27% from compassion fatigue and 7% from secondary traumatic stress. These nurses were more likely to have negative coworker relationships, to use medicinals, and to work more hours per shift. Nurses who had high compassion satisfaction scores were more likely to have strong support, to exercise, to meditate, and to have positive coworker relationships.

Nursing presence: Putting the art of nursing back into hospital orientation
Kostovich CT, Clementi PS.    J Nurses Prof Dev. 2014 Mar-Apr;30(2):70-5.
Loyola University Health System implemented a patient-centered model of care in new units of its hospital. They also added a one-day training to the general nursing orientation to address communication, attentive body language, honesty, listening skills, empathy, concern and respect for patients.  After 1 year of this new model, data showed that patient satisfaction scores increased and the incidence of falls and pressure ulcers were much lower.

Are there gender differences in the emotional intelligence of resident physicians?
McKinley SK, Petrusa ER, et al.    J Surg Educ. 2014 Jul 7.
A study of 325 residents showed that global emotional intelligence was not significantly different between men and women resident physicians. Women scored higher than men on impulse control and relationships. Men scored higher than women on stress management and emotion management.

The professionalism disconnect: Do entering residents identify yet participate in unprofessional behaviors?
Nagler A, Andolsek K, et al.    BMC Med Educ. 2014 Mar 27;14:60.
First year residents were asked about their perception of the professionalism of 46 specific behaviors related to training and patient care and their own participation in those specified behaviors. A majority of responders rated all 46 specified behaviors as unprofessional, and a majority had either observed or participated in each behavior. There were several significant differences in perceptions of specified behaviors between institutions.

BrandyKingThis post was written by Brandy King, MLIS  – Head of Information Services at The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute.


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