Losing compassion for patients? The implications of COVID-19 on compassion fatigue and event-related post-traumatic stress disorder in nurses

Wayne Hochwarter, Samantha Jordan, Christian Kiewitz, Patrick Liborius, Antonia Lampaki, Jennifer Franczak, Yufan Deng, Mayowa T. Babalola, Abdul Karim Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The authors investigated a psychological process that links characteristics of events related to the coronavirus disease (2019) COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. perceived novelty, disruptiveness and criticality) to compassion fatigue [(CF), a form of caregiver burnout] and subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in nurses. Design/methodology/approach: Administering two online surveys (October and November 2020) resulted in matched data from 175 nurses responsible for patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings: Perceived disruptiveness and criticality of COVID-19 events were positively associated with nurses' CF, which also mediated those characteristics' effects on PTSD instigated by COVID-19. Contrary to the authors' hypothesis, the perceived novelty of COVID-19 events was not significantly associated with CF nor was the indirect effect of perceived novelty on PTSD mediated by CF. Originality/value: The authors extend event system theory by investigating the psychological processes linking event features and resultant outcomes while providing practical implications on preparations for future unexpected and potentially life-altering events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-223
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Event system theory
  • Nurses
  • PTSD
  • Pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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