What's Currently Brewing in the Compassion Research Lab?: The EnACT study

Dr. Shane Sinclair

August 3, 2021

We are happy to announce that EnACT, a multi-centred, 4 year study to develop, implement, and evaluate an Evidence informed, Competency-based, Accredited, Compassion Training program, recently received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. This study is the culmination of over a decade of research conducted within the Compassion Research Lab, including but not limited to: the generation of an empirical model of compassion; the development and validation of the Sinclair Compassion Questionnaire (SCQ)--a valid and reliable patient reported compassion measure (www.compassionmeasure.com); and a series of systematic reviews on the topic of compassion training--each of which serves as the scientific foundation for this current project.

Methods/Approaches/Expertise: Our interdisciplinary team of nationally funded subject matter experts, medical/healthcare education researchers, clinicians, and knowledge translation experts will conduct a mixed-methods study over 4 phases, across 3 settings (acute care, hospice, and residential care) in 2 cities (Calgary and Winnipeg) over four years. In Phase I we will develop the core EnACT content and training methods based on our previous reviews and patient and healthcare provider informed research. In Phase II we will pilot test the EnACT training program after tailoring it to both the organizational and learner needs at each study site. After evaluating and refining the EnACT program, in Phase III we will assess the feasibility and initial impact of EnACT through the implementation and evaluation of a randomized controlled feasibility trial. In Phase IV we will execute an 8-point end-of-grant knowledge translation strategy, including the development of online modules to enable access for healthcare providers across the globe.

Expected Outcomes: This study will produce an Evidence-informed, Competency-based, Accredited, Compassion Training (EnACT) program to equip healthcare providers with the requisite attitudes, knowledge, skills, resources, and supports to address an increasingly publicized, previously elusive, and vitally important patient need--compassion.

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