Date of Conferral
Leslie C. Hussey
Compassion fatigue and work-related burnout are harmful reactions to patient situations and work environments that negatively affect nurses' well-being and ability to provide safe, effective patient care. However, research is needed to understand how reflection as a self-care response to patient situations is related to nurses' development of work burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress, a type of compassion fatigue. The purpose of this correlational, cross-sectional quantitative study was to determine the relationship between hospital-based acute care nurses' levels of reflection and their levels of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and work burnout. The study was based on Hentz and Lauterbach's model for reflective practice and Kearney, Weininger, Vachon, Harrison, and Mount's self-awareness-based model of self-care. Internet-based surveys consisting of demographic items, the Groningen Reflective Ability Scale, and the Compassion Fatigue-Short Scale were distributed to a randomly selected sample of 2,000 registered nurses in the southeastern United States. Spearman correlation, Pearson correlation, and binary linear regression analyses revealed no significant relationship between the variable of reflection and the variables of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and work burnout among hospital-based acute care nurses. Incidental findings revealed significant positive correlations among compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and work burnout. The study findings can be used to effect positive social change and inform future research within the nursing profession by highlighting reflective nursing practice and providing awareness of the positive relationships among compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and work burnout in nurses.