A cross-sectional examination of factors associated with compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue across healthcare workers in an academic medical centre

Chizimuzo T.C. Okoli, Sarret Seng, Janet K. Otachi, Jacob T. Higgins, Jessica Lawrence, Amanda Lykins, Elizabeth Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Compassion satisfaction (CS) among healthcare professionals is a sense of gratification derived from caring for their suffering patients. In contrast, compassion fatigue, often a consequence of burnout (BO) and secondary traumatic stress (STS), is detrimental to healthcare professionals’ productivity and patient care. While several studies have examined CS, BO, and STS among healthcare professionals, the majority have assessed samples in specific disciplines. However, the comparative differences in these factors by discipline or work setting are not well known. The aims of this study were to examine the differences in CS, BO, and STS by discipline and work setting, and to assess demographic, work-related, and behavioural factors associated with these outcomes. An electronic survey was administered (N = 764) at a large academic medical centre in the southeast United States. Questions elicited demographic variables, work-related factors, behavioural/lifestyle factors, experience with workplace violence, and the Professional Quality of Life Scale. Findings of the study determined that the rates of CS, BO, and STS vary across healthcare disciplines and work settings. Demographic, work-related, behavioural, and work setting (i.e., experience of workplace violence) factors were differentially associated with experiences of CS, BO, and STS. The results of the study suggest two potential areas for research, specifically workplace violence and sleep quality as a means of further understanding reduced CS and increased BO and STS among healthcare workers. These findings have important implications for future research and policy interventions to enhance healthcare workers’ health and safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-487
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • burnout
  • compassion satisfaction
  • healthcare professionals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health

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