Marta Salter



Recognition of Compassion Fatigue in Healthcare Providers

Primary Investigator: Marta Salter, BSN, RN

Purpose:  The purpose of this project is to enable healthcare providers to recognize compassion fatigue and provide them with coping mechanisms to deal with the phenomenon. 

Methods:  This is a quality improvement project for the healthcare providers at the Panama City Surgery Center (PCSC).  The structure of the project is a pre and post questionnaire with an educational intervention to identify gaps in the knowledge of compassion fatigue and treatment.  Convenience sampling was utilized with a sample size of 40 participants. 

Results:  Repeated-measures t-tests were used for each of the three primary analyses. There was a significant increase in recognition of compassion fatigue over time, t(39) = -2.47, p = 0.018, and there was a statistically significant decrease in burnout from pre-intervention to post-intervention, t(29) = 2.09, p = 0.023. There was not a significant change in STS across time, t(29) = 1.22, p = 0.23.  As for demographics and compassion fatigue, there was a significant correlation between years of practice and compassion fatigue post educational intervention, r=0.32, p=0.048.  It was found that there was not a significant correlation between other demographics, such as age and gender, and compassion fatigue. 

Discussion: The implications from this study reiterate the importance of educating healthcare providers about compassion fatigue and ways to deal with the phenomenon.  Research has proven that with yearly education on compassion fatigue, the incidence and severity of compassion fatigue decreases.   

Conclusion: This research study provides insight into the detrimental effects of compassion fatigue on healthcare providers.  Through education and awareness of compassion fatigue, there is a potential to reduce the negative outcomes that may affect healthcare providers.    


Major Professor: Dr. Susan Porterfield, PhD, FNP-C



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