Correlates of compassion fatigue and burnout in chaplains and other clergy who responded to the September 11th attacks in New York City

J Pastoral Care Counsel. Fall 2005;59(3):213-24. doi: 10.1177/154230500505900304.


Participants at a June 2002 conference about the September 11th attacks were tested for compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and burnout. The sample consisted of 343 clergy, including 97 chaplains. A total of 149 (43.4%) of the participants had responded as disaster-relief workers following the September 11th attacks. The number of hours clergy worked with trauma victims each week was directly related to compassion fatigue among responders and non-responders. Compassion fatigue also was positively related to the number of days that responders worked at Ground Zero, while disaster-relief work with the American Red Cross reduced compassion fatigue and burnout. Clinical Pastoral Education tended to decrease compassion fatigue and burnout and increase compassion satisfaction in both responders and non-responders. Burnout was inversely related to age in both groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Clergy / psychology*
  • Empathy*
  • Fatigue*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terrorism*