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Caring ability, Critical care nursing, Professional quality of life



  1. Mohammadi, Marzieh MSc
  2. Peyrovi, Hamid PhD
  3. Mahmoodi, Mahmood PhD


Background: Critical care nursing has some features that may affect the ability of critical care nurses to provide care. Professionals as critical care nurses who deal with peoples' health and life often experience some levels of stress that affects their quality of life.


Objective: This study examined the relationship between professional quality of life and caring ability of critical care nurses.


Method: In this descriptive correlational study, 253 critical care nurses working in the medical and surgical intensive care units of Tehran University of Medical Sciences were recruited by convenience sampling method. The data collection tools included demographic data form, Caring Ability Inventory, and questionnaire for professional quality of life version 5.


Results: There was a statistically significant positive relationship between the professional quality of life and the caring ability (P < .0001). A significant inverse relationship was found between burn-out subscale of compassion fatigue as one aspect of professional life quality with all 3 aspects of caring ability (knowledge, courage, and patience). Secondary traumatic stress, as another subscale of compassion fatigue (as one aspect of professional quality of life), had no statistically significant correlation with caring ability aspects of knowledge and patience. However, there was a significant inverse correlation between the secondary traumatic stress and courage aspect of caring ability (P < .0001). There was a statistically significant positive relationship between compassion satisfaction aspect of professional life quality with knowledge and patience aspects of caring ability, but there was not any relationship between the compassion satisfaction aspect of professional life quality and the courage aspect of caring ability.


Discussion: Improvement of critical care nurses' professional quality of life may increase their caring ability, thereby leading to better and more effective nursing care. Increased awareness by critical care nurse managers of the compassion fatigue phenomenon (secondary traumatic stress and burnout) and its effect on quality of critical care would be helpful in planning more specific strategies and preventing the onset and progression of these symptoms.