AffiliationUniversity of Nottingham
De Montfort University
Aalesund University College
University of Derby
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AbstractAims and objectives To investigate the tension between individual and organisational responses to contemporary demands for compassionate interactions in health care. Background Health care is often said to need more compassion among its practitioners. However, this represents a rather simplistic view of the issue, situating the problem with individual practitioners rather than focusing on the overall design of care and healthcare organisations, which have often adopted a production-line approach. Design This is a position paper informed by a narrative literature review. Methods A search of the PubMed, Science Direct and CINAHL databases for the terms compassion, care and design was conducted in the research literature published from 2000 through to mid-2013. Results There is a relatively large literature on compassion in health care, where authors discuss the value of imbuing a variety of aspects of health services with compassion including nurses, other practitioners and, ultimately, among patients. This contrasts with the rather limited attention that compassionate practice has received in healthcare curricula and the lack of attention to how compassion is informed by organisational structures and processes. We discuss how making the clinic more welcoming for patients and promoting bidirectional compassion and compassion formation in nursing education can be part of an overall approach to the design of compassionate care. Conclusions We discuss a number of ways in which compassion can be enhanced through training, educational and organisational design, through exploiting the potential of brief opportunities for communication and through initiatives involving patients and service users, as well as practitioners and service leaders.
CitationCrawford, P. et al (2014) 'The design of compassionate care', Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23 (23-24):3589 .
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
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