Compassion lies at the heart of healthcare and plays a crucial role in the well-being of both patients and clinicians. However, studies have shown that compassion in healthcare is decreasing, and burnout rates among healthcare professionals are high. While most research has focused on individual predictors of compassion and burnout, little is known about how organizational factors impact clinicians' ability to express compassion and their personal well-being.
Our recent cross-sectional study conducted with our colleagues in Aotearoa/New Zealand aimed to fill this gap by investigating the association between personal and organizational value discrepancies and compassion ability, burnout, job satisfaction, absenteeism, and consideration of early retirement among healthcare professionals. More than 1000 practicing healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals, participated in the study through an online survey that utilized both the SCQ-HCPCSA (Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire-Healthcare Provider Competence Self-Assessment) and the SCQ-HCPASA (Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire-Healthcare Provider Ability Self-Assessment--which were both verified in this study as valid and reliable measures of healthcare providers perceived compassion competence and perceived ability to provide compassion within their workplace/organization.
The results of this study demonstrated that perceived discrepancies between personal and organizational values were associated with lower compassion ability, lower job satisfaction, higher burnout rates, absenteeism, and greater consideration of early retirement among healthcare professionals. While these value discrepancies did not affect competence, they did have a significant impact on clinicians' well-being and ability to provide compassionate care.
This study highlights the importance of addressing organizational factors that impact healthcare professionals' well-being and ability to provide compassionate care. Organizational interventions that address operational processes and practices leading to value discrepancies can improve clinician performance and well-being outcomes. It is crucial to ensure that healthcare organizations align their values and mission with their employees' personal values, and that their employees feel valued and supported in their work environment.
Healthcare organizations and clinical cultures need to recognize the importance of compassion in healthcare and the significant role that value alignment plays in promoting compassion and well-being among healthcare professionals. By addressing value discrepancies, healthcare organizations can create a supportive work environment that promotes the well-being of their employees and enhances patient care.
Read the free open-access journal article associated with this study
Download the SCQ-HCPCSA (Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire-Healthcare Provider Competence Self-Assessment) and the SCQ-HCPASA (Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire-Healthcare Provider Ability Self-Assessment at www.compassionmeasure.com