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Title: Compassion in the NHS : an exploration of the experiences of mental health staff
Author: Drobinska, Kamila
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 2136
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores the experience of compassion satisfaction and compassion-focused groups amongst mental health staff. The narrative systematic literature review focused on identifying factors associated with higher compassion satisfaction in mental health professionals. A search of five databases identified 35 relevant studies. Findings indicated that a range of compassion satisfaction variables were investigated in mental health staff, such as self-care practices, workplace support and belongingness, cognitive facets of empathy, and competence. The review concluded that a range of organisational factors can help promote compassion satisfaction, thus protecting mental health professionals from burnout and compassion fatigue. The review is limited by the cross-sectional nature of the included studies. The empirical paper employed a mixed-method design to explore the feasibility and acceptability of compassion focused groups for staff working in inpatient mental health services. Ten participants completed session-by-session feasibility and acceptability measures. Eight participants were interviewed to explore the experience of the group and reasons for attrition. In spite of high acceptability ratings, supported by themes of positive affect, common humanity and changes in relating to self and others, the group had high attrition. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis, identifying an overarching theme relating to systemic barriers to attending with five main themes: (1) The nature of the ward; (2) Slowing down is not allowed; (3) It’s not in our nature; (4) Guilt and threat; (5) We’re not important. The results indicated that although compassion-focused groups may be experienced as a helpful intervention, they are not feasible to offer in the current design unless the identified barriers are addressed. Implications for future research, theory development and clinical practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Jackson, Mike Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: compassion ; NHS ; mental health professionals