Compassion fatigue and burnout: prevalence among oncology nurses

Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2010 Oct;14(5):E56-62. doi: 10.1188/10.CJON.E56-E62.


This descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted in inpatient nursing units and outpatient clinics in a cancer center in the midwestern United States. The sample of 153 healthcare providers included RNs, medical assistants, and radiology technicians. The fourth revision of the 30-item Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL R-IV) scale was used for measuring compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and burnout. A series of cross tab analyses examined the relationship between participant demographics and three ProQOL R-IV subscales. The study sample scored similarly on compassion satisfaction and burnout when compared with participants who used the ProQOL R-IV in previous studies. Value exists in analyzing the prevalence of burnout and compassion fatigue among oncology healthcare providers. Understanding the needs of distinct demographic groups offers valuable direction for intervention program development. Applying internal evidence in the design of a relevant stress-reduction program will better equip healthcare providers to recognize and manage compassion fatigue and burnout.

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / diagnosis
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Empathy
  • Humans
  • Midwestern United States
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Oncology Nursing*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires