Compassionate love, burnout and professional commitment in nurses

J Nurs Manag. 2020 Jan;28(1):72-81. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12892. Epub 2020 Jan 15.


Aims: To determine the effects of compassionate love on burnout and professional commitment in nurses.

Background: Compassionate love as 'other-centred' love is referred to as altruistic love, unconditional love and unreciprocated love. Compassionate love has an important role among nurses in moderating burnout and increasing professional commitment.

Methods: One-hundred ninety-four nurses working at two public hospitals in Turkey completed four self-report instruments: socio-demographics, the Compassionate Love Scale, the Burnout Measure-Short Version and the Nursing Professional Commitment Scale.

Results: A statistically significant inverse relationship was found between Compassionate Love Scale and Burnout Measure-Short Version scores, while Compassionate Love Scale scores were significantly and positively associated with Nursing Professional Commitment Scale scores. Participants with children had higher Compassionate Love Scale scores while those participating in the arts had lower Burnout Measure-Short Version scores. Nurses with intensive care experience had higher Nursing Professional Commitment Scale scores.

Conclusion: There is a positive relationship between compassionate love and professional commitment, a negative relationship between compassionate love and burnout. Further research is needed to test compassionate love interventions.

Implications for nursing management: Nurse managers may use the results of this study in encouraging and rewarding acts of compassionate love towards colleagues and patients.

Keywords: burnout; compassionate love; nursing; professional commitment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Burnout, Professional / complications
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Nurses / standards
  • Nurses / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey