Management of compassion fatigue in clinical nurses: A qualitative content analysis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

2 Trauma Nursing Research Center, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

3 Department of Nursing, Iranshahr University of Medical Sciences, Iranshahr, Iran


Background: Compassion fatigue (CF) is a progressive process of absorbing patients’ pain and suffering resulting from caring interactions between caregivers and patients. Since compassion fatigue is strongly influenced by cultural and ethnic differences, the question arose, "How do Iranian deal with CF?”
Objectives: This study aimed to obtain a deep understanding of Iranian nurses’ strategies in dealing with CF.
Methods: The study was conducted using the conventional content analysis method. Purposive sampling was conducted to select clinical nurses working in hospitals of Tehran and Kashan Universities of Medical Sciences, Iran. Using semi-structured face-to-face interviews, data were collected from 13 nurses who had experienced CF. Data analysis was performed according to the steps proposed by Graneheim and Lundman. To prove the trustworthiness of the data, the four criteria of credibility, dependability, confirmability, and transferability were used.
Results: Participants included 13 nurses whose average age was 31 years. Three categories emerged from the participants' experiences, namely "creating a work-life balance," "trying to ignore," and "use of support circle." All categories were placed under the theme of “struggling to survive in a turbulent workplace”.
Conclusion: Nurses make lots of effort to deal with CF in personal and social levels. Healthcare managers can help nurses by providing them with more support, such as spiritual and organizational ones.


Nastaran Heydarikhayat [Pubmed] [Google Scholar]


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