The Evidence Behind Self-Compassion for Healthcare Professionals

More About the Evidence Behind the Course
'Self-Compassion for Healthcare Professionals'
Stay Strong in Relationships and Avoid Compassion Fatigue

The course is evidence-based and built on the latest research by Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer. It is currently used in hospitals in the USA and is specifically designed for those in the healthcare sector who face conflicting demands between technology, documentation, time constraints, patient trauma affecting communication, general exhaustion, and the constant need for professionalism.

Initial research published in the 'Journal of Clinical Psychology' by Neff and Knox in 2020 shows:

  • Reduction in depression, stress, secondary traumatization, and burnout.
  • Increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and job satisfaction among healthcare professionals.

A bit more about the research results:

Burnout, including secondary traumatic stress and emotional exhaustion, is prevalent among healthcare professionals and is considered a contributing factor to those leaving the field (Cocker & Joss, 2016; West, Dyrbye, & Shanafelt, 2018).

"Chronic stress combined with emotionally intense work and insufficient resources can result in burnout," write West, Dyrbye, & Shanafelt (2018). The purpose of the 6-week program, Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (which is the American version of 'Avoiding Empathy Fatigue with Self-Compassion'), is to show healthcare professionals how to handle the emotional demands of their work. Mindfulness and self-compassion tools for healthcare professionals reduce the risk of ending a shift emotionally exhausted and increase the likelihood of job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Two studies conducted on employees at Dell Children’s Medical Center, who participated in the 6-week program, showed a significant increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, positive emotions generated by compassion, job satisfaction, and a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout factors (emotional exhaustion, numbness, and secondary traumatic stress). Other peer-reviewed studies have found that self-compassion training reduces burnout symptoms and increases self-compassion, mindfulness, and perceived satisfaction with being compassionate towards others (Delaney, M.C., 2018; Eriksson et al., 2018).


- Cocker, F., & Joss, N. (2016). Compassion fatigue among healthcare, emergency, and community service workers: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(6), 1–18.

- Delaney, M. C. (2018). Caring for the caregivers: Evaluation of the effect of an eight-week pilot mindful self-compassion (MSC) training program on nurses’ compassion fatigue and resilience. PLoS ONE, 13(11), 1–20.

- Eriksson, T., Germundsjö, L., Åström, E., & Rönnlund, M. (2018). Mindful self-compassion training reduces stress and burnout symptoms among practicing psychologists: A randomized controlled trial of a brief web-based intervention. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(NOV), 1–10.

- West, C. P., Dyrbye, L. N., & Shanafelt, T. D. (2018). Physician burnout: contributors, consequences, and solutions. Journal of Internal Medicine, 283(6), 516–529.