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Actions, style and practices: how leaders ensure compassionate care delivery
  1. Timothy J Vogus1,
  2. Laura E McClelland2
  1. 1 Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2 Health Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Timothy J Vogus, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203, USA; timothy.j.vogus{at}


Demands for more patient-centred care necessitate that leadership creates the conditions for more compassionate care that is sustainable even in periods of acute crisis. We draw on a growing body of empirical research in health services, management and medicine to highlight how the combination of interpersonal acts, leadership style and organisational structures underpins leading with compassion. We further detail how this benefits care provider well-being and patient outcomes through fostering integrative thinking and prosocial motivation. We conclude with implications for practice.

  • empathy
  • patient-centred care
  • patient experience

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  • Contributors Both authors planned, researched, wrote and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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