Compassion fatigue among nurses working with older adults

Kay L. Kolthoff, Susan Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Nurses who care for older patients are exposed to significant suffering and loss that can lead to the development of compassion fatigue and burnout. An exploratory descriptive study was conducted to assess compassion fatigue, burnout, and compassion satisfaction in a group of 42 nurses who worked on a geriatric medicine unit using the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue 5 scale. Nurses reported average levels of compassion fatigue, burnout, and compassion satisfaction. However, new nurses reported higher levels of compassion fatigue (p < .01) and burnout (p = .02) than experienced nurses. Findings suggest the need to purposely build a supportive environment that focuses on new nurses to reduce compassion fatigue and burnout while enhancing compassion satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeriatric Nursing
StateAccepted/In press - May 12 2016


  • Burnout
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Compassion satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology

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