Reducing Compassion Fatigue in Inpatient Pediatric Oncology Nurses

Courtney E. Sullivan

Amber-Rose King

Joni Holdiness

Judith Durrell

Kristin K. Roberts

Christopher Spencer

Joshua Roberts

Susan W. Ogg

Meredith W. Moreland

Emily K. Browne

Carla Cartwright

Valerie McLaughlin Crabtree

Justin N. Baker

Mark Brown

April Sykes

Belinda N. Mandrell

compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, burnout, secondary traumatic stress
ONF 2019, 46(3), 338-347. DOI: 10.1188/19.ONF.338-347

Objectives: To develop an evidence-based compassion fatigue program and evaluate its impact on nurse-reported burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction, as well as correlated factors of resilience and coping behaviors.

Sample & Setting: The quality improvement pilot program was conducted with 59 nurses on a 20-bed subspecialty pediatric oncology unit at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Methods & Variables: Validated measures of compassion fatigue and satisfaction (Professional Quality of Life Scale V [ProQOLV]), coping (Brief COPE), and resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale-2) were evaluated preprogram and at two, four, and six months postprogram, with resilience and coping style measured at baseline and at six months postprogram.

Results: Secondary traumatic stress scores significantly improved from baseline to four months. Select coping characteristics were significantly correlated with ProQOLV subscale scores.

Implications for Nursing: Ongoing organizational support and intervention can reduce compassion fatigue and foster compassion satisfaction among pediatric oncology nurses.

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