open access

Vol 10, No 4 (2016)
Review paper
Published online: 2017-05-19
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How does the suffering of cancer patients affect us? Reviewing the physical and mental wellbeing of hospice workers

Adrienne Kegye, Ágnes Zana, Katalin Hegedűs
Medycyna Paliatywna w Praktyce 2016;10(4):174-184.

open access

Vol 10, No 4 (2016)
Review articles
Published online: 2017-05-19

Abstract

Background. The physical and mental burden of the hospice workers is increasing in Hungary. The develop­ment of physical, psychological and social symptoms might enhance the fluctuation of caregivers. Our main goal is to help the hospice care professionals more effectively in preventing physical and mental fatigue.

Material and methods. Based on the international databases we reviewed the literature on the physical and mental state of health care workers who deal primarily with terminally ill patients. We focused on English language articles published between 2000 and 2013, primarily on studies presenting research results related to palliative and hospice care workers.

Results. Among40 international studies found in our search, we discarded those that concentrated only on a specific area of the issue leaving 16 international studies subject to a more detailed examination. A great advantage of reviewing the literature was the detailed examination of the mental state and coping strategies of hospice health workers. A relatively new element in research is the analysis of the relationship between compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout (relationship between negative and positive effects), that covers symptomatology and coping as well.

Conclusion. All these aspects lead to a better understanding of causes and to more effective methods that are helpful in preventing physical and mental fatigue of hospice professionals.

Abstract

Background. The physical and mental burden of the hospice workers is increasing in Hungary. The develop­ment of physical, psychological and social symptoms might enhance the fluctuation of caregivers. Our main goal is to help the hospice care professionals more effectively in preventing physical and mental fatigue.

Material and methods. Based on the international databases we reviewed the literature on the physical and mental state of health care workers who deal primarily with terminally ill patients. We focused on English language articles published between 2000 and 2013, primarily on studies presenting research results related to palliative and hospice care workers.

Results. Among40 international studies found in our search, we discarded those that concentrated only on a specific area of the issue leaving 16 international studies subject to a more detailed examination. A great advantage of reviewing the literature was the detailed examination of the mental state and coping strategies of hospice health workers. A relatively new element in research is the analysis of the relationship between compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout (relationship between negative and positive effects), that covers symptomatology and coping as well.

Conclusion. All these aspects lead to a better understanding of causes and to more effective methods that are helpful in preventing physical and mental fatigue of hospice professionals.

Get Citation

Keywords

hospice, palliative care, burnout, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue

About this article
Title

How does the suffering of cancer patients affect us? Reviewing the physical and mental wellbeing of hospice workers

Journal

Palliative Medicine in Practice

Issue

Vol 10, No 4 (2016)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

174-184

Published online

2017-05-19

Bibliographic record

Medycyna Paliatywna w Praktyce 2016;10(4):174-184.

Keywords

hospice
palliative care
burnout
compassion satisfaction
compassion fatigue

Authors

Adrienne Kegye
Ágnes Zana
Katalin Hegedűs

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