Exploring psychological understandings of compassion in healthcare organisations

PhD Thesis

Newman, R. 2018. Exploring psychological understandings of compassion in healthcare organisations. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsNewman, R.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Introduction: This study aimed to empirically test the application of psychological theory to the issue of compassion in healthcare organisations. The study hypothesised that (1) threat-related emotion among healthcare staff would be predicted by organisational climate and (2) a mediated relationship between organisational climate and compassion-related outcome, through threat-related emotion would be found.

Method: Staff from a range of UK healthcare organisations and professional roles were sampled using an online cross-sectional survey (n=154). Data were analysed using multiple regression and mediation analysis.

Results: As hypothesised, a perceived climate of high pressure for productivity, low line-manager support for emotions, and low compassion from colleagues and managers was significantly predictive of reduced compassion satisfaction. This relationship was mediated by low 'social safeness' (feelings of 'positive calm', connectedness, trust and acceptance between colleagues). Other hypothesised mediators (work-related anxiety and shame) were not statistically significant, although were significantly predicted by organisational climate.

Discussion: Results were supportive of the application of compassionate mind theory to the context of healthcare organisations. Implications and methodological limitations are discussed.

KeywordsCompassion; organisational climate; compassionate mind; healthcare; burnout
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Publication process dates
Deposited04 Oct 2018
AcceptedMay 2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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