The Influence of Using Novel Predictive Technologies on Judgments of Stigma, Empathy, and Compassion among Healthcare Professionals

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (1):32-45 (2024)
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Background Our objective was to evaluate whether the description of a machine learning (ML) app or brain imaging technology to predict the onset of schizophrenia or alcohol use disorder (AUD) influences healthcare professionals’ judgments of stigma, empathy, and compassion. Methods We randomized healthcare professionals (N = 310) to one vignette about a person whose clinician seeks to predict schizophrenia or an AUD, using a ML app, brain imaging, or a psychosocial assessment. Participants used scales to measure their judgments of stigma, empathy, and compassion. Results Participants randomized to the ML vignette endorsed less anger and more fear relative to the psychosocial vignette, and the brain imaging vignette elicited higher pity ratings. The brain imaging and ML vignettes evoked lower personal responsibility judgments compared to the psychosocial vignette. Physicians and nurses reported less empathy than clinical psychologists. Conclusions The use of predictive technologies may reinforce essentialist views about mental health and substance use that may increase specific aspects of stigma and reduce others.



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Citations of this work

On Changes and Opportunities at AJOB Neuroscience.Veljko Dubljevic - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (1):1-2.
Unintended Harms of Novel Predictive Technologies in Mental Disorder Treatment.Şerife Tekin - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (1):46-48.

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