Compassion Fatigue among Healthcare Personnel in Acute Care Contexts: An Integrative Review

Kam Ki Stanley LAM, Shuk Yu Maria HUNG


Healthcare workers in acute care settings experience considerable emotional exhaustion on a daily basis, which might lead to the manifestation of compassion fatigue that adversely impacts their wellbeing. There has been an increasing awareness in understanding compassion fatigue on healthcare workers recently, but the literature within this area remains ambiguous due to the use of different terminology. This integrative review aims to synthesize the existing research knowledge of the manifestation of compassion fatigue and the related concepts in acute care contexts. A total of 27 full-text research articles were retrieved for analysis. The interpretation of the selected articles yielded four main categories, which included the prevalence, risk factors, protective factors, and consequences regarding compassion fatigue among healthcare workers. These findings provide an outline for decision makers of healthcare organizations to formulate a strategic plan for helping healthcare workers to cope with compassion fatigue in everyday work and disaster events.


compassion fatigue; stress disorders, post-traumatic; secondary traumatic stress; acute care contexts

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