Evaluating a brief online compassion-focused intervention for intensive care nurses

Nurs Crit Care. 2022 Nov 25. doi: 10.1111/nicc.12860. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: High levels of stress have been found within health care staff, particularly in the nursing population, which is somewhat attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. The development of self-compassion, a protective psychological construct, may promote well-being in the health care staff population. As part of a service development project, the authors delivered and evaluated a brief online compassion-focused intervention with nurses working within Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

AIMS: Aims were to explore feasibility within the ICU nursing population and consider potential benefits to psychological well-being.

METHODS: ICU nurses registered for an online, 4 week, compassion-focused intervention as part of a service development project. Measures of compassion, burnout, trauma, and the emotional climate of their work environment were analysed in two groups; those who completed the intervention and those who did not. Baseline and post-intervention measures were analysed to infer the potential benefits of the intervention.

RESULTS: Compared with their baseline scores, those who completed the intervention showed improvements on measures of compassion, soothing in emotional climate, and reductions in burnout, trauma and threat in emotional climate. At baseline, those who did not complete the intervention scored lower on measures of compassion and soothing within their emotional climate, as well as higher levels of trauma and threat within the emotional climate, compared with those who engaged with the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: Brief online compassion-focused interventions may be a useful platform to promote well-being in ICU nurses, but possibly only for those who have a pre-established level of self-compassion.

PMID:36428235 | DOI:10.1111/nicc.12860

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