Compassion fatigue: A concept analysis

Chia Yun Fu, Hsing Mei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Compassion fatigue is a relatively new term in nursing. This term describes mood swings experienced by healthcare providers that are both complex in origin and intensify over time due to cumulative stress. Quality of care can be affected if compassion fatigue goes untreated. This paper presents a concept analysis of compassion fatigue using Walker & Avant's method. Results show the defining attributes of compassion fatigue to include: 1. accumulated patient and family suffering; 2. sufferer unable to release built-up stresses effectively; and 3. negative effects on physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Identified antecedents of compassion fatigue included: (1) working as a healthcare provider; (2) investing sympathy in others over a long period of time; and (3) ignoring stress symptoms and personal emotional needs over time. Identified consequences of compassion fatigue included: (1) decreased coping ability; (2) damage / destruction of patient relationship; and (3) increased medical care costs. This study conducted a concept analysis to offer a better understanding of the concept of compassion fatigue and provide a reference for nursing practice and compassion fatigue-related nursing research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Compassion fatigue: A concept analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this