Qing Dai1, Jihong Fang2#, Guoqin Wang2, Qiong Wang2, Xuemei Zhan1, Lunlan Li1*


1Department of Nursing, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230022, China - 2Department of Nursing, Anhui Province Children's Hospital, Hefei, 230022, China


Introduction: Repeated exposure to loss and grief may cause compassion fatigue (CF), which refers to feelings of physical and mental pain and helpless anger, in nurses. Compassion load includes compassion satisfaction (CS), secondary traumatic stress (STS), and burnout (BO). This study aimed to examine STS, BO, and CS in pediatric nurses in China and to identify the indexes that were associated with STS, BO, and CS.

Materials and methods: In total, 515 pediatric registered nurses (RNs) were recruited for this survey. Pediatric RNs who had worked more than one year in two hospitals were invited to participate through electronic flyers. The Professional Quality of Life version 5 was used to assess CS, STS, and BO. 

Results: Over half of the nurses had moderate levels of STS (60.8%), BO (51.8%), and CS (55.7%). The analyses revealed an obvious relationship between professional title and STS (P = 0.043). Current professional title (p = 0.040), years worked in the hospital (P = 0.043), and number of night shifts per month (P = 0.037) were associated with a higher risk of BO. Marital status (P = 0.007), years worked in the hospital (P = 0.048), current position (P = 0.020), number of night shifts per month (P = 0.010) and number of children (P = 0.026) had an obvious relationship with CS.

Conclusion: Pediatric RNs with junior professional titles, few working experience, and more night shifts are at risk of developing CF. Higher CS was found among pediatric nurses who got married, had children, with more nursing experience, higher professional title, and fewer night shifts. Subsequent research should focus on the above factors and intervene to reduce the level of CF in pediatric nurses and improve their level of CS.


Compassion fatigue, Burnout, Secondary traumatic stress, Compassion satisfaction, Pediatric nurses.