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Expert Meeting on Empathy and Compassion

Empathy and compassion on the part of the caregiver are important contributors to effective interaction between caregivers and care recipients, caregiver wellbeing, and the quality of care provided. Yet there is a paucity research on caregiver interventions that incorporate cutting-edge, basic behavioral research on empathy. On September 16–17, 2019, at the request of the National Institute on Aging, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) convened an Expert Panel to explore advances in measuring and understanding (1) behavioral, affective, and cognitive processes underlying empathy and compassion; (2) interventions that modulate empathy and compassion; and (3) future research directions to incorporate basic science into development of interventions. The Panel discussed methods, outcomes, and populations for measurement and study of empathy and compassion, then broke into two groups to discuss study design and implementation. Finally, the Panel convened for overall discussion and synthesis of themes. A meeting summary (PDF, 554K) is available.