Providing compassionate healthcare: Challenges in policy and practice

Sue Shea, Robin Wynyard, Christos Lionis

Research output: Book/ReportBook

2 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the scope and sophistication of contemporary health care, there is increasing international concern about the perceived lack of compassion in its delivery. Citing evidence that when the basic needs of patients are attended to with kindness and understanding, recovery often takes place at a faster level, patients cope more effectively with the self-management of chronic disorders and can more easily overcome anxiety associated with various disorders, this book looks at how good care can be put back into the process of caring. Beginning with an introduction to the historical values associated with the concept of compassion, the text goes on to provide a bio-psycho-social theoretical framework within which the concept might be further explained. The third part presents thought-provoking case studies and explores the implementation and impact of compassion in a range of healthcare settings. The fourth part investigates the role that organizations and their structures can play in promoting or hindering the provision of compassion. The book concludes by discussing how compassion may be taught and evaluated, and suggesting ways for increasing the attention paid to compassion in health care. Developing a multi-disciplinary theory of compassionate care, and underpinned by empirical examples of good practice, this volume is a valuable resource for all those interesting in understanding and supporting compassion in health care, including advanced students, academics and practitioners within medicine, nursing, psychology, allied health, sociology and philosophy.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages281
ISBN (Electronic)9781134501229
ISBN (Print)9780415704960
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2014

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