A Descriptive Study to Assess Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction among Caregivers of Patients undergoing Chemotherapy in selected Hospital in a City of India

  • Ujjwala Murkute Associate Professor, Sadhu Vaswani College of Nursing, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
  • Ujjawala Veer Clinical Instructor, Sadhu Vaswani College of Nursing, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Keywords: Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, Chemotherapy, Family Caregiver


Introduction: Patients and their loved ones experience variable degrees of fear and anxiety during cancer treatment. In such times, family becomes an integral part of the patient’s support system. Family members may also experience similar stress like health professionals while dealing with the patient’s diagnosis and its long term treatment.
Objectives: The study was aimed at assessing the level of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among family caregivers of patients undergoing chemotherapy and to seek an association of compassion fatigue with selected demographic variables.
Methods: In this exploratory descriptive study, 80 family caregivers were included with non-probability convenience sampling from the chemotherapy unit of tertiary care hospital. Data related to compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction were collected from family caretakers of patients visiting for the chemotherapy cycles with 27 point rating scale.
Results: Mean compassion satisfaction and mean compassion fatigue was 41.16 and 52.35 respectively. Majority of caregivers 41 (51.2%) had average satisfaction level while 39 (48.8%) had high satisfaction level. In the case of assessment of the level of compassion fatigue, majority of participants (92.5%) had high compassion fatigue and only (7.5%) had moderate compassion fatigue. Monthly income was found to be significantly associated with the level of compassion satisfaction whereas relation with patients was found to be significantly associated with the level of compassion fatigue among caregivers.
Conclusion: The findings of the study suggests that the caregivers had high to moderate compassion satisfaction while taking care of their loved ones during chemotherapy.


How to cite this article:
Murkute U, Veer U. A Descriptive Study to Assess Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction among Caregivers of Patients undergoing Chemotherapy in selected Hospital in a City of India. Int J Nurs Midwif Res. 2021;8(1):2-8.


Coroner talk [Internet]. Secondary traumatic stress: getting through what you can’t get over. 2015. Available from: https://coronertalk.com/secondary-traumaticstress-getting-through-what-you-cant-get-over

Lynch SH, Lobo ML. Compassion fatigue in family caregivers: a Wilsonian concept analysis. J Adv Nurs. 2012;68(9):2125-34. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Reinhard SC, Given B, Petlick NH, Bemis A. Supporting Family Caregivers in Providing Care. In: Hughes RG, editor. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Apr.

Gorman LM. The Psychosocial Impact of Cancer on the Individual, Family, and Society. Oncological Nursing Society; 2018. [Google Scholar]

Eldridge L. Compassion fatigue and Burnout in Cancer Caregivers. 2019 Nov.

Pashib M, Abbaspour S, Tadayyon H, Khalafi A. Quality of professional life among nurses of hospitals in Torbat Heydariyeh city in 2016. J Torbat Heyda Univ Med Sci. 2016;4:36-41. [Google Scholar]

Babaei S, Taleghani F, Kayvanara M. Compassionate behaviours of clinical nurses in Iran: an ethnographic study. Int Nurs Rev. 2016 Sep;63(3):388-94. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Burton LC, Newsom JT, Schulz R, Hirsch CH, German PS. Preventive health behaviors among spousal caregivers. Prev Med. 1997;26(2):162-9. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Levine C. Rough crossings: Family caregivers’ odysseys through the health care system. New York: United Hospital Fund of New York; 1998.

Neal MB, Chapman NJ, Ingersoll-Dayton B, Emlen AC. Balancing work and caregiving for children, adults, and elders. Vol. 3. Sage Publications; 1993. [Google Scholar]

Lukhmana S, Bhasin SK, Chhabra P, Bhatia MS. Family caregivers’ burden: A hospital based study in 2010 among cancer patients from Delhi. Indian J Cancer. Jan-Mar 2015;52(1):146-51.[PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Lynch SH, Shuster G, Lobo ML. The family caregiver experience - examining the positive and negative aspects of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue as caregiving outcomes. Aging Ment Health. 2018 Nov;22(11):1424-31. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Mosher CE, Adams RN, Helft PR, O’Neil BH, Shahda S, Rattray NA, Champion VL. Positive changes among patients with advanced colorectal cancer and their family caregivers: a qualitative analysis. Psychol Health. 2017;32(1):94-109. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Langenberg SM, van Herpen CM, van Opstal CC, Wymenga AN, van der Graaf WT, Prins JB. Caregivers’ burden and fatigue during and after patients’ treatment with concomitant chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer: a prospective, observational pilot study. Support Care Cancer. 2019;27:4145-54. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Longacre ML, Ridge JA, Burtness BA, Galloway TJ, Fang CY. Psychological functioning of caregivers for head and neck cancer patients. Oral Oncol. 2012;48(1):18-25. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Nightingale CL, Lagorio L, Carnaby G. A prospective pilot study of psychosocial functioning in head and neck cancer patient-caregiver dyads. J Psychosoc Oncol. 2014;32(5):477-92. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Badr H, Gupta V, Sikora A, Posner M. Psychological distress in patients and caregivers over the course of radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Oral Oncol. 2014;50(10):1005-11. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

das Neves Borges EM, da Silva Fonseca CI, Baptista PC, Queirós CM, Baldonedo-Mosteiro M, Mosteiro-Diaz MP. Compassion fatigue among nurses working on an adult emergency and urgent care unit. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2019 Oct 7;27:e3175. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Kabunga A, Mbugua S, Makori G. Compassion Fatigue: A Study of Psychotherapists’ Demographics in Northern Uganda. Int J Acad Res Psychol. 2016;3(1):49-59. [Google Scholar]