Quantitative investigations of compassion satisfaction and challenges to compassion in mental health professionals

Hopper, Mirella and Fletcher, Ian (2016) Quantitative investigations of compassion satisfaction and challenges to compassion in mental health professionals. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Systematic Literature Review: The first section of the thesis explored ‘compassion satisfaction’ (CS): a positive effect of caregiving where gratification is derived from caring for patients. Stamm’s model of professional quality of life was employed to analyse 16 quantitative studies for evidence of predictors and correlates of CS in mental health professionals (MHPs). CS was associated with increased age and clinical experience, health and wellbeing, therapeutic bond and the MHP’s capacity to maintain a coherent view of their social world, themselves and their clients. Several papers revealed preliminary evidence of a negative relationship between CS and compassionate stress in MHPs. Research Paper: Given the apparent lack of compassion within healthcare services, this quantitative study investigated the impact of individual differences in 104 direct-care staff on the challenges to compassion they experience towards patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act. The Challenges to Compassion Questionnaire was developed for the purposes of this research, and demonstrated good internal reliability and validity. Overall, staff reported minimal challenges to compassion. A multiple regression analysis revealed that intrapersonal emotional intelligence and CS predicted fewer challenges to compassion. Recommendations for promoting compassionate care target individual, interpersonal and organisational factors. Critical Appraisal: The final section adopted a critical and reflective stance to consider the initial decision-making processes regarding the research paper, including the rationale for the study and the chosen data collection methodology, and the practical and procedural challenges encountered during the course of the research, such as ethical approval processes and the impact of software compatibility on survey response rates. The report then explored the primary constructs adopted within the research paper, including compassion and attachment theory and the implications of their conceptualisations on the research findings, before examining pragmatic applications of the results and offering recommendations for future research.

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Thesis (PhD)
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12 Sep 2016 13:54
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:41