The patient-clinician relationship is known to significantly affect the pain experience, as empathy, mutual trust and therapeutic alliance can significantly modulate pain perception and influence clinical therapy outcomes. The aim of the present study was to use an EEG hyperscanning setup to identify brain and behavioral mechanisms supporting the patient-clinician relationship while this clinical dyad is engaged in a therapeutic interaction. Our previous study applied fMRI hyperscanning to investigate whether brain concordance is linked with analgesia experienced by a patient while undergoing treatment by the clinician. In this current hyperscanning project we investigated similar outcomes for the patient-clinician dyad exploiting the high temporal resolution of EEG and the possibility to acquire the signals while patients and clinicians were present in the same room and engaged in a face-to-face interaction under an experimentally-controlled therapeutic context. Advanced source localization methods allowed for integration of spatial and spectral information in order to assess brain correlates of therapeutic alliance and pain perception in different clinical interaction contexts. Preliminary results showed that both behavioral and brain responses across the patient-clinician dyad were significantly affected by the interaction style.Clinical Relevance - The context of a clinical intervention can significantly impact the treatment of chronic pain. Effective therapeutic alliance, based on empathy, mutual trust, and warmth can improve treatment adherence and clinical outcomes. A deeper scientific understanding of the brain and behavioral mechanisms underlying an optimal patient-clinician interaction may lead to improved quality of clinical care and physician training, as well as better understanding of the social aspects of the biopsychosocial model mediating analgesia in chronic pain patients.
2020, Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS, Pages 1512-1515 (volume: 2020-)
Patient-Clinician Brain Response during Clinical Encounter and Pain Treatment (04d Abstract in atti di convegno)
Anzolin A., Isenburg K., Grahl A., Toppi J., Yucel M., Ellingsen D. M., Gerber J., Ciaramidaro A., Astolfi L., Kaptchuk T. J., Napadow V.
Gruppo di ricerca: Bioengineering and Bioinformatics