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Research on empathy in the healthcare field understandably prioritizes the clinician-patient relationship, but the impact of the clinician’s empathetic support for caregivers––family members, friends, and hired care workers––deserves more attention. Caregiver burnout is a significant issue that can negatively impact patient outcomes, particularly in cases of geriatrics, pediatrics, and patients with disabilities. Combining a review of existing scholarship with interviews of healthcare workers and caregivers, this study suggests that clinician empathy for caregivers can help alleviate burnout and improve patient outcomes. The research also identifies specific implementations that can be made in healthcare provider training to encourage an empathetic relationship with caregivers. These implementations include caregiver simulations, and training the clinician to ask questions targeting the assessment of caregiver well-being, provide words of affirmation, maintain correct body language, format their healthcare visits, and more. Finally, this project demonstrates the necessity for further research on this overlooked yet impactful clinical relationship.



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Empathy for Caregivers: Analyzing the Significance of an Overlooked Clinical Relationship