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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 168-171

Self-Care, burnout, and compassion fatigue in oncology professionals

1 Student, M.Sc. Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Miss. Diti Kohli
302, 3rd Floor, Shambhavi Sovereign, Perampalli Road, Vidhyaratna Nagar, Manipal, Karnataka - 576 104
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_201_19

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Context: With the rising number of cancer cases in India, the stress levels of the treating team have increased. It has affected their self-care and made them susceptible to problems like burnout and compassion fatigue that adversely affect the quality of patient care. Aims: The aim of the study was to assess and compare the levels of burnout, compassion fatigue, and self-care in three groups of oncology professionals (clinical oncologists, nurses, and psychologists). Settings and Design: The study included 134 oncology professionals working in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. Methods and Material: Sociodemographic data sheet, Professional Quality of Life Scale V and Self-Care Assessment Worksheet were used. Statistical Analysis Used: Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney U test, and Correlation Analysis. Results: The majority of the professionals reported moderate levels of burnout (60.4%) and compassion fatigue (56%). Oncology nurses reported an elevated risk as they scored significantly higher on these domains and had a lower degree of self-care. Interestingly, psychologists reported comparatively lower levels of burnout and compassion fatigue, despite the fact that they interact with the patients at a deeper level, looking after their psychological and emotional needs. Young age and a poor degree of self-care were identified as major risk factors. Conclusions: The moderate levels of burnout and compassion fatigue, though not severe, are a cause of concern and cannot be overlooked. The study highlights the need for self-care in this regard and suggests that individual and institutional level interventions, particularly for nurses and young professionals, would prove useful.


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