Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


burnout, compassion fatigue, hospice nurses, secondary traumatic stress



  1. Abendroth, Maryann MSN, RN
  2. Flannery, Jeanne DSN, ARNP, CNRN, CRRN, CCH


There is a growing interest in the clinical phenomenon of compassion fatigue and its impact on healthcare providers; however, its impact on hospice nurses is basically unknown. This study investigated the prevalence and the relationships between nurse characteristics and compassion fatigue risk. It also provided a model for predicting compassion fatigue risk. A non-experimental descriptive design using cross-sectional data and descriptive and inferential statistics was used. Nurses (N = 216) from 22 hospices across the state of Florida participated in the study. Findings revealed that 78% of the sample was at moderate to high risk for compassion fatigue, with approximately 26% in the high-risk category. Trauma, anxiety, life demands, and excessive empathy (leading to blurred professional boundaries) were key determinants of compassion fatigue risk in the multiple regression model that accounted for 91% (P < .001) of the variance in compassion fatigue risk. Knowledge of these variables may help organizations identify nurses at risk and provide interventions and preventions to maintain optimal nursing care.