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Nurs Older People. 2010 May;22(4):26-31.

Family caregivers' compassion fatigue in long-term facilities.

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1
Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University, Canada.

Abstract

AIM:

The aim of this study was to explore the presence of compassion fatigue in family carers who assist staff with care of older relatives in long-term settings.

METHOD:

Narrative data were collected through observation and conversations with five purposively selected family carers.

FINDINGS:

Thematic and poetic analysis suggest that family carers exhibit symptoms associated in the literature with compassion fatigue in nurses and other healthcare professionals. Two major themes emerged: role engulfment and enveloping sadness.

CONCLUSION:

Nurses working in long-term care settings should educate family carers about compassion fatigue, recognise its presence in them and provide support to family carers experiencing the condition.

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