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Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Oncology Nurses


Although the needs of nurses are often overlooked in a hospital setting, staff members may face serious health issues due to an inadequate schedule, workplace pressure, and similar factors increasing stress. Thus, tools for handling the problem and reducing the pressure under which nurses are forced to work is required. In their article “Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Oncology Nurses in the United States and Canada,” Wu, Singh-Carlson, Odell, Reynolds, and Su (2016) shed light on the problem of empathy among nurses suffering from work pressure.

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Research Question

The authors of the study set the goal of exploring the phenomenon of compassion fatigue among nurses. Moreover, Wu et al. (2016) state that they attempt at locating the connection between compassion, workplace satisfaction, empathy, and the levels of fatigue among nurses. Therefore, the research question can be formulated in the following way: “What are the connections between compassion fatigue, workplace burnouts, and work satisfaction levels among oncology nurses in the Canadian Association of Nursing Oncology?” By answering the specified question, the authors of the research attempt at not only exploring the nature of the phenomenon but also create the setting in which nurses will not be subjected to the same amount of pressure and thus, will be capable of delivering improved services.

Research Design

Since the question that the authors of the research seek to ask is primarily aimed at determining the relationships between the selected variables and possibly quantifying them rather than exploring their nature, Wu et al. (2016) have chosen the quantitative method. However, since an additional insight into the phenomenon is required, the quantitative method chosen for the study is descriptive and non-experimental. Thus, a detailed analysis of the problem can be conducted, and the links between the external factors affecting nurses and the development of compassion fatigue can be located.


For their study, Wu et al. (2016) use the approach based on convenience sampling. Implying that the research participants gathered in a sample are located in the close proximity to the researchers, convenience sampling may have led to the creation of certain research biases. For example, the choice of the participants that were located in the same area may have led to the misrepresentation of the target population. Particularly, the levels of diversity within the specified sample are likely to be questionable at best. Nevertheless, the use of the convenience sampling strategy allows studying the problem fast and saving a significant amount of resources, which is essential for the study that seeks to address the needs of nurses suffering from emotional issues. 486 participants were selected from the United States, while Canada was represented by 63 nurses.

Data Collection

The process of gathering the required information involved using a modification of the Abendroth Demographic Questionnaire (ADQ). After the responses to the questions from the identified tool had been submitted, the authors performed a statistical analysis of the information with the help of the ProQOL scale, which is similar to a Likert-type tool. Thus, the answers to the questionnaire were quantified successfully to locate a tendency observed in the oncologic nursing setting. The ADQ tool has a long history of being applied to conduct nursing research and quantifying the results (Mangoulia, Koukia, Alevizopoulos, Fildissis, & Katostaras, 2015). Therefore, it served its purpose perfectly by allowing to measure the degree to which respondents experienced compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction, as well as the extent to which they felt being burnt out.


Although the results of the study can be regarded as credible, there were several limitations that may have affected the outcomes of the analysis slightly. For instance, the selected approach toward sampling has led to the selection of a rather small number of participants. As a result, it could be argued that the target demographic has not received the required representation, and that the research results lack credibility. In addition, as Wu et al. (2016) admit, the study did not include a sufficient number of male participants. Consequently, the outcomes of the analysis may require further adjustments when applied to meet the needs of male patients. Nevertheless, the located limitations did not become the hindrances that would make the outcomes of the study illegitimate. Despite minor issues in the representation of the target population, the study has provided a profound assessment of the subject matter and proven the existence of the link between the variables under analysis.


The research results indicate that there is an evident link between compassion fatigue, workplace burnout, and compassion satisfaction. When being put under significant strain, nurses are incapable of developing an emotional connection with their patients. As a result, the quality of care deteriorates, leading to poor patient outcomes. In addition, nurses also tend to develop health issues, particularly, mental health concerns associated with depression and stress.

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An analysis of compassion fatigue and the relevant issues in nurses operating in the oncology department was conducted by Wu et al. (2016). The study has shown that there is a direct link between the well-being of nurses and the degree to which they engage emotionally with patients’ needs. Thus, the article provides a platform for the further research that will allow reducing the levels of strain under which nurses are put in the identified setting.


Mangoulia, P., Koukia, E., Alevizopoulos, G., Fildissis, G., & Katostaras, T. (2015). Prevalence of secondary traumatic stress among psychiatric nurses in Greece. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 29(5), 333-338. Web.

Wu, S., Singh-Carlson, S., Odell, A., Reynolds, G., & Su, Y. (2016, July). Compassion fatigue, burnout, and compassion satisfaction among oncology nurses in the United States and Canada. Oncology Nursing Forum, 43(4), 161-169. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, July 21). Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Oncology Nurses. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, July 21). Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Oncology Nurses.

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StudyCorgi. "Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Oncology Nurses." July 21, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction Among Oncology Nurses'. 21 July.

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