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University of Arizona

1. Cooper, Jessica. Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric Oncology Nurses .

Degree: 2019, University of Arizona

Purpose: To conduct an educational intervention to improve knowledge about compassion fatigue among pediatric oncology nurses at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH). Background: Burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and decreased compassion satisfaction contribute to compassion fatigue. Pediatric oncology nurses face stressful situations based on the unique care demands of children battling cancer such as complex treatment regimens, managing professional boundaries, providing emotional support. grief, and bereavement. Compassion fatigue is a progressive process that can impact a nurse’s quality of life and contributes to decreased job satisfaction, performance, patient satisfaction, and turnover. Methods: A 20-minute educational PowerPoint presentation was presented on compassion fatigue to highlight what compassion fatigue is, signs and symptoms, and common triggers. There was also a handout provided with available resources at PCH that could be utilized to help with compassion fatigue. The Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) scale was used to measure compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction levels and a pre- and post-test was completed to measure if an educational intervention improves nurse’s knowledge about compassion fatigue. Findings: The results showed that participants (n=30) knowledge significantly improved after the 20-minute educational intervention (p=0.001) with a mean score of 76.2% on the pre-test and a mean score of 95.4% on the post-test. In addition, nurses had a significant increase (p=0.0001) in the utilization of resources; prior to the intervention only seven participants (23.3%) utilized some of the available resources offered by PCH compared to 24 participants (80%) one-month post-intervention. However, there were no statistically significant changes in raw scores for the pre- and one-month post ProQOL survey (p > 0.05). Overall the participants viewed the class worthwhile and had positive things to say about the class. Implications: The results of this study showed that an educational intervention on compassion fatigue improved nurses knowledge about compassion fatigue, symptoms, common triggers, and available resources with improved utilization of available resources. Even with improved knowledge and utilization of resources, there was not a statistically significant difference in pre- and one-month post survey scores on compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. Future research could benefit from analyzing the long-term effects improved knowledge of compassion fatigue and the utilization of resources has on compassion satisfaction and fatigue. Advisors/Committee Members: Peek, Gloanna J (advisor), Moore, Ida M. (committeemember), Lee-Miller, Cathy A. (committeemember).

Subjects/Keywords: compassion fatigue; pediatric oncology

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APA (6th Edition):

Cooper, J. (2019). Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric Oncology Nurses . (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Arizona. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Cooper, Jessica. “Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric Oncology Nurses .” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Arizona. Accessed January 23, 2019.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Cooper, Jessica. “Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric Oncology Nurses .” 2019. Web. 23 Jan 2019.


Cooper J. Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric Oncology Nurses . [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Arizona; 2019. [cited 2019 Jan 23]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Cooper J. Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric Oncology Nurses . [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Arizona; 2019. Available from: