Compassion fatigue among obstetricians and gynecologists

Dirik D., Sak R., Şahin Sak İ. T.

CURRENT PSYCHOLOGY, vol.40, no.9, pp.4247-4254, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12144-021-02022-w
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.4247-4254
  • Keywords: Obstetricians, Gynecologists, Compassion fatigue, Secondary trauma, Burnout, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, UNDERSTANDING COMPASSION, BURNOUT
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Obstetricians and gynecologists are likely to be at risk of occupational distress because their quality of life is affected as a result of their experiences of assisting with traumatic births and/or providing abortions, among others. Nevertheless, there have been few studies of this group of doctors' compassion fatigue. This study aimed to examine obstetricians and gynecologists' compassion fatigue. This survey-based quantitative study examined 107 obstetricians and gynecologists' compassion fatigue. Data were collected using a demographic information form and the Compassion Fatigue Short Scale. This established that had low levels of compassion fatigue related to secondary trauma and job burnout, but moderate levels of it overall. Among female obstetricians and gynecologists, compassion fatigue was higher than among their male counterparts, and respondents who worked at private hospitals had higher compassion fatigue related to secondary trauma than those who worked in state-run hospitals. The data also revealed that obstetricians and gynecologists with 11-15 years' seniority scored higher on the job-burnout subdimension of compassion fatigue, and overall, than their more senior counterparts. Interestingly, however, no statistically significant differences in the participants' compassion fatigue were found to be associated with their ages, marital statuses, numbers of children, number of patients seen per day, or number of daily operations performed. Professional sharing groups that allow doctors to share their experiences and to gain awareness about their colleagues' traumas should be organized. Teamwork should also be encouraged; and various prevention strategies should also be considered.