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The Oxford Empathy Programme (OxEmCare) is an interdisciplinary research group that includes medical practitioners, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists.

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For all healthcare interactions to include a dose of empathy. This often, but not always, requires additional time.We work to ensure that the evidence-based benefits of empathic care are implemented into the heart of all healthcare settings and interactions.

Empathic care has been shown to improve patient outcomes as well as practitioner well-being. Trials show that empathic care can reduce: patient pain, depression, anxiety, practitioner burnout, and patient complaints / medico-legal risk.  It can also improve: patient satisfaction, well-being, and improve medication adherence. Yet the extent to which practitioners express empathy is variable.

Key areas of work

  1. Conducting and disseminating research on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of empathic health care and the factors that support its delivery.
  2. Influencing healthcare policy and practice to support empathic care.
  3. Developing and providing training and development related to empathy for healthcare practitioners, healthcare managers and trainees.


  1. Using best available evidence to inform decisions.
  2. Collaborating across boundaries.
  3. Promoting integrity and quality.
  4. Supporting next generation of empathy leaders.

Our team

Supported by:


Selected publications