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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
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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