Experiences of clinical psychologists working in palliative care : A qualitative study

Cramond, Laura and Fletcher, Ian and Rehan, Claire (2020) Experiences of clinical psychologists working in palliative care : A qualitative study. European Journal of Cancer Care, 29 (3): e13220. ISSN 0961-5423

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Background Compassion fatigue refers to the emotional and physical exhaustion felt by professionals in caring roles, whereas compassion satisfaction encompasses the positive aspects of helping others. Levels of compassion satisfaction and fatigue have been found to be inconsistent in palliative care professionals, which could have serious implications for patients, professionals and organisations. Objectives This study explored the experiences of clinical psychologists working in palliative care, all worked with adults with cancer, to gain an understanding of the impact this work has on their self and how they manage this. Methods A qualitative approach was taken, using semi‐structured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results Three superordinate themes were identified: commitment, existential impact on the self and the oracle. The participants' experiences were characterised by the relationship between themselves and their patients, the influence of working in palliative services on their world view and the impact of organisational changes. Differences between working as a clinical psychologist in palliative care versus non‐palliative settings were considered. Conclusions Professionals working in palliative care should be supported to reflect on their experiences of compassion and resilience, and services should provide resources that facilitate staff to practice positive self‐care to maintain their well‐being.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
European Journal of Cancer Care
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Cramond, L, Fletcher, I, Rehan, C. Experiences of clinical psychologists working in palliative care: A qualitative study. Eur J Cancer Care. 2020; 00:e13220. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13220 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ecc.13220 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? compassionpalliative carepsychologistsqualitativeoncology ??
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Deposited On:
08 Jan 2020 15:35
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:33