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Prevention of Compassion Fatigue in Student Clinicians: A Pilot Study

1 January 2017


Few studies have systematically investigated treatment or prevention of compassion fatigue among mental health professionals, and no studies to date have explored the effectiveness of intervention strategies for compassion fatigue among mental health professionals in training. Compassion fatigue prevention and intervention has been largely overlooked in mental health educational and training curriculums. The present study utilized a pretest-posttest control group design to investigate the efficacy of a pilot educational training program on compassion fatigue as an intervention in enhancing compassion satisfaction and reducing compassion fatigue (i.e., secondary traumatic stress and burnout) among mental health professional trainees. The intervention (n = 12) and control (n =18) groups were comprised of psychology doctoral students completing practicum training at two clinics (N = 30). As measured by the ProQOL-5, independent samples t-tests determined there were no significant mean differences in change scores between groups on compassion satisfaction, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout subscales. Limitations of the current study are discussed and suggestions are provided for continued implementation of compassion fatigue training in doctoral training programs.


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