Compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress in registered nurses in Australia: Phase 2 results

Authors

  • Vicki Drury BHlthSc (Nsg), BA (Ed), MClNsg (MH), PhD,

    Principal Consultant, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
    1. Educare Consulting, Bunbury, WA, Australia
    2. Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
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  • Mark Craigie BSc (Hons), MPsych (Clinical), PhD,

    Adjunct Senior Lecturer
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
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  • Karen Francis RN, DipHlthScNsg, BHlthScNsg, GradCertUniTeach/Learn, MHlthSCPHC, MedPhD,

    Professor and Head of School of Nursing
    1. Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
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  • Samar Aoun BSc (Hons), MPH, PhD,

    Professor of Palliative Care
    1. Curtin University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Perth, WA, Australia
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  • Desley G. Hegney RN, RM, BA (Hons), PhD

    Professor of Nursing, Corresponding author
    1. Curtin University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Perth, WA, Australia
    • Correspondence

      Desley G. Hegney

      School of Nursing and Midwifery

      Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute

      Curtin University

      Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

      GPO Box U1987

      Perth

      WA 6845

      Australia

      E-mail: desley.g.hegney@gmail.com

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Abstract

Aim

This is the first two-phase Australian study to explore the factors impacting upon compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, anxiety, depression and stress and to describe the strategies nurses use to build compassion satisfaction into their working lives.

Background

Compassion fatigue has been found to impact on job satisfaction, the quality of patient care and retention within nursing. This study provides new knowledge on the influences of anxiety, stress and depression and how they relate to compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue.

Method

In Phase 2 of the study, 10 nurses from Phase 1 of the study participated in individual interviews and a focus group. A semi-structured interview schedule guided the conversations with the participants.

Result

Data analysis resulted in seven main themes: social networks and support; infrastructure and support; environment and lifestyle; learning; leadership; stress; and suggestions to build psychological wellness in nurses.

Conclusion

Findings suggest that a nurse's capacity to cope is enhanced through strong social and collegial support, infrastructure that supports the provision of quality nursing care and positive affirmation. These concepts are strongly linked to personal resilience.

Implications for nursing management

These findings support the need for management to develop appropriate interventions to build resilience in nurses.

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