Journal of Wellness


Introduction: Burnout is a primary threat to professional wellness and performance. It reflects work-related emotional stress and is commonly manifested among professional caregivers. This study explores whether self-compassion training can alleviate hospital nurses' work-related emotional stress and burnout.

Methods: In the present study, we conducted a weekly, 7-session, self-compassion training program among 15 hospital nurses, primarily working in critical care units, between January 22, 2020, and March 4, 2020. A group of nine other nurses, comprising a waiting list for the following training workshop, served as a control group. Beyond feasibility assessment, we also measured outcome effects according to previous research based on self-determination theory that proposed the specific way in which self-compassion contributes to reducing burnout among professional caregivers. This study used an interventional delta (after-before) experimental design, alongside a control group with similar interval delta measurement.

Results: Findings indicated high feasibility of the training program, with a trend noted toward improvement in self-compassion among the experimental group nurses (p = 0.06) - which was not observed among the control-group nurses. Despite the interventional success in self-compassion growth, burnout scores increased during the training program (exhaustion: Δ = 1.85, p = 0.007; depersonalization: Δ = 1.83, p = 0.05; lack of achievement: Δ = 1.33 p = 0.10).

Conclusion: The training program's institutional framework, complemented by its preliminary results in self-compassion optimization, suggest future directions for conducting preemptive resilience training among hospital nurses. Burnout remains a complex combination of stressor-related phenomena that (at least from these preliminary results) suggest that complete amelioration is multifaceted beyond the domain of self-compassion growth.





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