Send to

Choose Destination
Explore (NY). 2017 May - Jun;13(3):181-185. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2017.02.005. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

Code Lavender: Cultivating Intentional Acts of Kindness in Response to Stressful Work Situations.

Author information

University of California Health San Diego, San Diego, CA.
University of California Health San Diego, San Diego, CA. Electronic address:



Providing healthcare can be stressful. Gone unchecked, clinicians may experience decreased compassion, and increased burnout or secondary traumatic stress. Code Lavender is designed to increase acts of kindness after stressful workplace events occur.


To test the feasibility of providing Code Lavender.


After stressful events in the workplace, staff will provide, receive, and recommend Code Lavender to others. The provision of Code Lavender will improve Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQoL) scores, general job satisfaction, and feeling cared for in the workplace.


Pilot program testing and evaluation. Staff and physicians on four hospital units were informed of the Code Lavender kit availability, which includes words of comfort, chocolate, lavender essential oil, and employee health referral information. Feasibility data and ProQoL scores were collected at baseline and three months.


At baseline, 48% (n = 164) reported a stressful event at work in the last three months. Post-intervention, 51% reported experiencing a stressful workplace event, with 32% receiving a Code Lavender kit from their co-workers as a result (n = 83). Of those who received the Code Lavender intervention; 100% found it helpful, and 84% would recommend it to others. No significant changes were demonstrated before and after the intervention in ProQoL scores or job satisfaction, however the emotion of feeling cared-for improved.


Results warrant continuation and further dissemination of Code Lavender. Investigators have received requests to expand the program implying positive reception of the intervention. Additional interventions are needed to overcome workplace stressors. A more intense peer support program is being tested.


coping skills; empathy; job satisfaction; psychological stress; workplace

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center