Burnout, compassion fatigue, and coping among hospice caregivers [poster] Conference Poster uri icon
  • Hospice care is becoming increasingly important as the population ages and preferences shift toward less invasive end-of-life care. This study examined burnout, compassion fatigue, and coping among MN hospice staff. A one-time anonymous survey was distributed to 931 staff from 13 hospice programs throughout MN with a 60% response rate. Analyses described the data and examined associations. Respondents were predominately female (91%), white (97%), well-educated (75%), with mean age of 49 years, and median of 6 years working in hospice; 46% worked in urban/suburban settings, 20% rural, and 34% mixed. Fifteen percent of respondents scored high on depression, 14% for anxiety, 60% moderate to high stress, 14% on compassion fatigue, and 5% as high on burnout. Respondents overall reported high levels of job satisfaction and very high levels of social support. Compassion fatigue appears to affect a significant but small group of hospice workers; burnout mean scores were higher, but fewer passed the cut score for burnout. There is a strong correlation between compassion fatigue, depression, anxiety, and burnout. Increased opportunities to connect with co-workers, convenient opportunities for physical activity, and changes to organizational structure were most frequently reported ways to help reduce burnout and stress. Overall satisfaction with work is high among hospice staff with the majority of those looking for work outside of hospice located in rural settings. Social support was a key factor for the majority of respondents in managing stress and may be a key factor in navigating compassion fatigue and burnout.

  • publication date
  • 2010
  • Research
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Health
  • Stress
  • Terminal Care
  • Workplace