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Appl Psychol Health Well Being. 2017 Jul;9(2):168-206. doi: 10.1111/aphw.12086. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

Can Self-Compassion Promote Healthcare Provider Well-Being and Compassionate Care to Others? Results of a Systematic Review.

Author information

1
University of Calgary, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This meta-narrative review, conducted according to the RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards) standards, critically examines the construct of self-compassion to determine if it is an accurate target variable to mitigate work-related stress and promote compassionate caregiving in healthcare providers.

METHODS:

PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched. Studies were coded as referring to: (1) conceptualisation of self-compassion; (2) measures of self-compassion; (3) self-compassion and affect; and (4) self-compassion interventions. A narrative approach was used to evaluate self-compassion as a paradigm.

RESULTS:

Sixty-nine studies were included. The construct of self-compassion in healthcare has significant limitations. Self-compassion has been related to the definition of compassion, but includes limited facets of compassion and adds elements of uncompassionate behavior. Empirical studies use the Self-Compassion Scale, which is criticised for its psychometric and theoretical validity. Therapeutic interventions purported to cultivate self-compassion may have a broader effect on general affective states. An alleged outcome of self-compassion is compassionate care; however, we found no studies that included patient reports on this primary outcome.

CONCLUSION:

We critically examine and delineate self-compassion in healthcare providers as a composite of common facets of self-care, healthy self-attitude, and self-awareness rather than a construct in and of itself.

KEYWORDS:

compassion; healthcare; meta-narrative; self-compassion

PMID:
28393485
DOI:
10.1111/aphw.12086
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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