NCPD Article

Feasibility and Impact of Physical Activity on Compassion Fatigue and Burnout Among Ambulatory Care Oncology Nurses

Caitlin A. Murphy

Beth A. Staffileno Mary Ellen Hand

Colleen P. Bruen

Mikayla Hermsen

Laura Anne Johnson

Hugh Vondracek

physical activity, compassion fatigue, burnout, ambulatory care oncology
CJON 2022, 26(5), 519-527. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.519-527

Background: Compassion fatigue (CF) and burnout are well described phenomena among oncology nurses. Physical activity (PA) has been shown to reduce CF and burnout.

Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility of promoting PA and assessing its impact on CF and burnout among RNs across three ambulatory care cancer clinics.

Methods: A convenience sample of nurses with varying roles were invited to participate. Feasibility was assessed by participant accrual and retention rates. CF and burnout were assessed at weeks 0, 6, and 12. The Yale Physical Activity Survey was used to obtain self-reported PA, and daily steps were tracked using participants’ personal devices.

Findings: Stress scores decreased. Burnout scores demonstrated levels of low emotional exhaustion, moderate depersonalization, and moderate to high personal achievement. Leisurely walking increased significantly, and average daily step counts increased by 37% for weekdays, 10% for weekend days, and 29% for the total week.

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