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Multiple Sclerosis News TodayPatients Deem AI-based ChatGPT More Empathetic than Neurologists

Exploring Patient Perceptions of AI Empathy in Medical Responses: Insights and Implications for Physician Communication Strategies

In a recent cross-sectional study, more than 1,100 individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) were surveyed to evaluate their responses to medical advice provided by AI, specifically ChatGPT, versus traditional neurologists. The findings suggest that while both sources offer comparable levels of satisfaction regarding the medical advice, responses from ChatGPT were perceived as more empathetic. This perception could influence future patient engagement and communication methodologies in healthcare.

Key Points:

  • The study titled “ChatGPT vs. neurologists: a cross-sectional study investigating preference, satisfaction ratings and perceived empathy in responses among people living with multiple sclerosis,” was published in the Journal of Neurology.
  • Researchers surveyed 1,100 MS patients who evaluated responses to common MS-related questions provided by both ChatGPT and a team of expert neurologists.
  • Responses from ChatGPT were rated as more empathetic compared to those from neurologists, potentially due to ChatGPT’s informal tone.
  • Satisfaction levels with the information provided were similar for both ChatGPT and the neurologists.
  • Demographic analysis indicated that patients with a college education tended to prefer responses from neurologists, attributing to a possible higher appreciation for the precision of professional language.
  • The study highlighted the importance of tailoring digital health tools to the diverse needs and skills of users to enhance accessibility and effectiveness.
  • The findings emphasize the potential for integrating AI tools like ChatGPT into medical care to enhance information accessibility, although these tools are not yet suitable substitutes for professional medical advice.

Recent research reveals 38% of Americans think that AI in health and medicine would lead to better overall outcomes for patients. Slightly fewer (33%) think it would lead to worse outcomes and 27% think it would not have much effect.

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