The Relationship Between Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Satisfaction: A Systematic Literature Review

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Abstract

This systematic literature review examines the relationship between secondary traumatic stress (STS) and compassion satisfaction (CS) to identify the state of the science and directions for future research. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis framework was used to guide the identification and evaluation of studies. Eight academic databases were systematically searched between July and December of 2022 to identify articles and dissertations published in English or Hebrew between 2000 and 2022. Studies were considered for inclusion if they examined the relationship between STS and CS and met an established quality threshold. If studies used a mixed methods approach, only quantitative results were included in the review. The search strategy yielded 537 studies with 33 included in the final review. Findings of this review suggest experiences of high levels of STS can coexist with high levels of CS indicating that people can gain satisfaction from their work and experience STS. Most studies examined the relationship between STS and CS using bivariate analyses with variability found in the direction of the relationship. This variability was also found in multivariate studies included in this review. These findings suggest the need for interventions to address both STS and CS with attention paid to the potential negative impact of emotional contagion and the vulnerability of younger female practitioners. Future research should pay attention to the rigor of the analysis of STS and CS and the exploration of mediating or moderating mechanisms between these constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15248380231209438
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - Nov 19 2023

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