An Integrative Review of Effective Strategies to Prevent and Treat Compassion Fatigue in Oncology Nurses

Jodi Collier, Tania Bergen, Hua Li


Compassion fatigue, understood more clearly as the combination of burnout and secondary traumatic stress, is a workplace hazard in oncology nursing. Despite being identified as a high-risk group, findings from this study reveal a concerning lack of awareness and understanding of compassion fatigue in oncology nurses. Strategies such as self-care, mindfulness, and resiliency-based interventions for individual nurses against compassion fatigue were found and reviewed in this study. However, findings vary on the effectiveness of the interventions, suggesting that prevention focused interventions may be more effective than treatment focused for addressing compassion fatigue. The responsibility for protecting the health of oncology nurses is vital and must be shared by organizations, administrations, educational institutions, and individual nurses to be successful.

Keywords: compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, burnout, oncology, nurse

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