Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions and Experiences of Compassion Fatigue among Healthcare Professionals Working with HIV Populations
by Ward, Shawnee, Ph.D., Capella University, 2020, 136; 28264360
Abstract (Summary)

Compassion fatigue among healthcare professionals working with patients living with Human Immunodeficiency (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is an important topic to consider because of its possible threat to healthcare providers' professional and personal lives. Compassion fatigue is broadly defined and can include emotional and physical symptoms in those providing care to others. While compassion fatigue is not a new phenomenon, it has received considerable attention within other healthcare populations, causing professionals to examine the condition closely. There has been limited research found on compassion fatigue and HIV/AIDS healthcare professionals, specifically sharing their perceptions and experiences with this condition which identified a literature gap. This generic qualitative study was designed to fill that gap. Generic qualitative methodology focused on the experiences and perceptions of healthcare professionals working with HIV/AIDS patients. As qualitative research has evolved, the use of generic qualitative inquiry has also become more frequent. This generic qualitative methodology seeks to understand the experiences of healthcare professionals working with patients with HIV/AIDS and addressed the research question: What are the perceptions and experiences of compassion fatigue among health care professionals working with HIV populations? The population was healthcare professionals working with HIV/AIDS patients, and the sample was a mixed group of 10 men and women who had experienced compassion fatigue and shared their perceptions and experiences with the condition. The study participants were eight African American females, one Hispanic male, and one African American male, between the age of 30 and 60 years old with an education level from an associate degree to a master's degree. All participants had at least two years of experience working with patients living with HIV/AIDS. The generic qualitative methodology allows various data collection methods like face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Individual interviews captured the perceptions and understanding of compassion fatigue from study participants. The theoretical orientations for the study are human caring, ecological, and compassion fatigue. Common themes attributing to compassion fatigue’s impact developed using inductive thematic analysis from data collected during interviews. Inductive analysis was used to analyze the transcripts of the audio-recorded interviews with the participants. Analysis of the data resulted in five central themes that included (a) an overwhelming sense of drive to support/nurture clients, (b) removing the stigma of HIV/AIDS, (c) manifestation and effects of compassion fatigue (d) coping skills used to combat and manage compassion fatigue (e) utilization of preventive methods. The findings revealed the prevalence of compassion fatigue among the mixed group of healthcare professionals who shared their personal experiences about compassion fatigue while working with HIV/AIDS patients. The results also highlighted the importance of continued efforts to heighten compassion fatigue awareness among healthcare professionals and the significance of implementing ongoing self-care strategies to prevent compassion fatigue. Future recommendations would expand the knowledge of compassion fatigue and analyze a larger sample of healthcare professionals working with patients living with HIV/AIDS to implement best practice self-care strategies to prevent the effects of compassion fatigue.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sparks, Cathy
Commitee: McAllister , JoAnn , Holstein , Janine
School: Capella University
Department: School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Behavioral Sciences, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Compassion fatigue, Compassion fatigue and self care, Compassion fatigue symptoms, Healthcare professionals and compassion fatigue, Support for people with HIV/AIDS, Working with HIV/AIDS patient
Publication Number: 28264360
ISBN: 9798557083348
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