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Prevalence, causes and consequences of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in emergency care: a mixed-methods study of UK NHS Consultants

Dasan, Sunil, Gohil, Poonam, Cornelius, Victoria and Taylor, Cath (2014) Prevalence, causes and consequences of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in emergency care: a mixed-methods study of UK NHS Consultants Emergency Medicine Journal, 32 (8). pp. 588-594.

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Abstract

Objective

To estimate prevalence and explore potential causes and consequences of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in UK emergency medicine consultants.

Methods

A sequential mixed-methods design. Cross-sectional e-survey to all UK NHS emergency medicine consultants (n=1317) including Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) (compassion satisfaction/fatigue), followed by interviews with consultants scoring above (n=6) and below (n=6) predefined ProQOL thresholds.

Results

681 (52%) consultants responded. Most (98%) reported at least ‘average’ compassion satisfaction. Higher scores were associated with type of workplace (designated trauma centres faring better) and number of years worked as a consultant (gradually worsen over time, except 20 years onwards when it improves). Consultants with lower (worse) compassion satisfaction scores were more likely to report being irritable with patients or colleagues and reducing their standards of care (a third reported these behaviours at least monthly) and were more likely to intend to retire early (59% had such plans). Key features distinguishing ‘satisfied’ from ‘fatigued’ interviewed consultants included having strategies to deal with the high work intensities associated with their role and having positive views of the team within which they worked. The degree of variety in their roles and the ability to maintain empathy for their patients were also distinguishing features between these groups.

Conclusions

Findings support an urgent review of workforce and resources in emergency medicine and suggest that a multifactorial approach to identification, prevention and treatment of occupational stress in the workforce is required that considers individual, job and organisational factors, particularly those that impact on perceived control and support at work.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Dasan, Sunil
Gohil, Poonam
Cornelius, Victoria
Taylor, Cathcath.taylor@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 23 September 2014
Funders : The College of Emergency Medicine
DOI : 10.1136/emermed-2014-203671
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2015 BMJ Publishing Group Limited
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 31 May 2018 15:49
Last Modified : 24 Aug 2018 13:26
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/846712

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