Effect of compassion rounds on nurses' professional quality of life on a COVID-19 unit

Nurs Forum. 2022 Nov;57(6):1365-1372. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12821. Epub 2022 Oct 26.


Introduction: Evidence suggests that support groups enhance nurses' professional quality of life (QOL), and positive professional QOL is associated with better patient and nurse outcomes. This study examined the effect of a unit-level support group on the professional QOL of nurses working on a progressive care unit-turned-dedicated-COVID-19 unit.

Aim: We hypothesized that a professionally facilitated Compassion Rounds (CR) support group would improve compassion satisfaction (CS) and reduce compassion fatigue (CF) among COVID-19 unit nurses.

Methods: For this pre/post, within-group trial we recruited an inclusive, convenience sample of 84 nurses on a COVID-19 unit within a 377-bed, Magnet®-designated hospital. The 10-week, CR consisted of biweekly meetings, and the ProQOL version 5 measured pre/post CS and CF.

Results: Paired t-testing showed that CS scores fell after CR (n = 10; p = .005), while scores rose for CF burnout (p = .05) and secondary traumatic stress (p = .008). Results were similar for unpaired analysis (N = 38; p < .05).

Implications/conclusion: Although pandemic-related challenges likely overwhelmed CR's potential to improve professional QOL, CR may have prevented worse deterioration of work-life quality. CR may also create clinically meaningful improvements for groups or individual nurses, and thus enhance nurse and patient outcomes.

Keywords: burnout; coping; job motivation; nursing research; occupational health.

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional* / etiology
  • COVID-19*
  • Compassion Fatigue*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Empathy
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Nurses*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires