Anglia Ruskin University

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Promotion of professional quality of life through reducing fears of compassion and compassion fatigue: Application of the Compassionate Mind Model to Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (Health Visiting) training

journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 15:11 authored by Andrew J. McVicar, Ann Pettit, Pamela Knight-Davidson, Adelle Shaw-Flach
Aims and Objectives: To identify whether a Compassionate Mind Model‐based curriculum reduces students’ perceived fears of compassion and improves their professional well‐being. Background: Enabling compassion is mandatory within nurse education but evidencing it is challenging. Research suggests that application of the Compassionate Mind Model might reduce students’ fears of compassion and also decrease compassion fatigue. This study reports outcomes of a post‐registration curriculum based on that model for training Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (Health Visiting). Design: A quantitative, prospective evaluation of a 12‐month training course for Health Visiting students. Reporting was guided by the STROBE checklist for observational studies. Methods: Fears of compassion scales were applied at course start (time 1), mid‐point (time 2; +6 months) and end (time 3; +12 months) to evaluate fears of compassion of 26 post‐registration student Health Visitors (81% of course cohort) who provided data at all three points. The Professional Quality of Life tool was administered simultaneously to evaluate compassion satisfaction and burnout/secondary traumatic stress (compassion fatigue). Results: Between time 1 and time 3, mean fears of compassion scores decreased by 16.6‐48.5% (repeated measures analysis of variance); mid‐point scores were intermediary. At time 3, compassion satisfaction had increased slightly (+4.1%), negatively correlated with fears of compassion for self (r = −0.602; p = .001; n = 26) and fears of receiving compassion from others (r = −0.568; p = .002; n = 26). Burnout score decreased by 18.7%, correlated positively with fear of compassion for self (r = 0.493; p = .011; n = 26) and fear of receiving compassion from others (r = 0.615; p = .001; n = 26). Secondary traumatic stress score decreased by 16.5% but was not correlated with any fear of compassion. Conclusion: Findings suggest that application of the Compassionate Mind Model might reduce practitioners’ fears of compassion linked to a decrease in risk of compassion fatigue. Relevance to clinical practice: The Compassionate Mind Model could provide an effective vehicle to promote compassion and nurse well‐being.



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Journal of Clinical Nursing






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Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care

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