Professional quality of life and wellbeing with mental health professionals

Wright, Becky and Parry, Sarah and Fleck, Kieran and Horgan, Olga and Fletcher, Ian and Bourne, Katy and Giga, Sabir (2022) Professional quality of life and wellbeing with mental health professionals. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Professional quality of life (PQoL) examines the positive and negative emotions experienced in professionally helping roles, measured as compassion satisfaction (CS) and compassion fatigue (CF). Chapter One describes a systematic literature review examining factors associated with CS in mental health professionals (MHPs). Six databases were searched (AMED, Academic Search Ultimate, CINAHL, MEDLINE Complete, PsycArticles and PsycINFO) and 28 studies in 29 papers met inclusion criteria. CS was associated with: psychological characteristics, wellbeing, personal trauma, organizational commitment, workload, team-working, supervision, and social support. Services should target variables that can be limited (e.g. workload) or increased (e.g. supervision) to promote CS. Chapter Two reports a research study investigating PQoL with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) practitioners. Participants (N=169) completed an online survey containing validated self-report measures of PQoL, general wellbeing, team psychological safety and quantitative workload. Participants reported average CS and average-high CF. In regression modelling, CF, wellbeing and psychological safety significantly accounted for 41% of the variance in CS. Higher wellbeing was significantly associated with higher CS. A second regression model demonstrated that CS, wellbeing, psychological safety and workload significantly accounted for 30% of the variance in CF. Higher perceived workload and lower wellbeing were significantly associated with higher CF. IAPT services are under constant pressure to meet national targets and growing access rates. Services should prioritise manageable workloads, a focus on wellbeing and psychologically safe environments to support practitioners PQoL. Chapter three critically appraises the research processes, expanding on the limitations, implications and future research discussed in Chapters One and Two. Further, a post-hoc mediation analysis of the empirical research data demonstrated that psychological safety indirectly effected CS through general wellbeing, which warrants further exploration. A more robust analysis of factors relating to PQoL, adopting longitudinal methodologies, is required to implement and evaluate strategies to enhance PQoL.

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Thesis (PhD)
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19 Aug 2022 12:00
Last Modified:
30 Jan 2024 00:16