Assessment of Compassion Fatigue and Empathy Levels in Nurses During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Turkey’s Case


Journal of Religion and Health, vol.62, no.2, pp.1343-1357, 2023 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 62 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10943-023-01749-z
  • Journal Name: Journal of Religion and Health
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, ATLA Religion Database, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1343-1357
  • Keywords: Compassion fatigue, COVID-19, Empathy, Nurse, Turkey
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.This study was conducted to determine the compassion fatigue level of nurses and to review several variables believed to be associated with it; in addition, an assessment is made of empathy levels in the same group. This is a cross-sectional study conducted from December 2021 to May 2022 on nurses working at a city hospital linked to the Turkish Ministry of Health. The study group consisted of 616 nurses. A Personal Information Form, the Compassion Fatigue-Short Scale (CF-SS), and the Jefferson Scale of Empathy were used to collect data. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews. Student’s t-test, One-Way Analysis of Variance, and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis were used for data analysis. The statistical significance value was accepted as p < 0.05. The study group consisted of 499 (81.0%) females and 117 (19.0%) males, and their ages ranged from 20 to 51, with a mean age of 29.2 ± 6.9 years. The scores obtained from the CF-SS ranged from 16 to 130, with a mean score of 70.96 ± 25.04. The level of compassion fatigue was found to be higher in participants with a low family income, those who work more than 40 h a week, those who chose their profession unwillingly, those who are not satisfied with their profession, and those with a history of contact with a COVID-19 patient (p < 0.05 for each group). There was a significant association between levels of compassion fatigue and empathy (r = 0.92; p = 0.220). The level of compassion fatigue was found to be moderate in the nurses observed. The factors affecting the level of compassion fatigue included gender, family income, reasons for choosing nursing as a profession, the number of patients given daily care by the nurses, satisfaction with their profession, and history of contact with a COVID-19 patient. More extensive studies focusing on the association between compassion fatigue and empathy in nurses are needed.