Can Self-Compassion Promote Healthcare Provider Well-Being and Compassionate Care to Others? Results of a Systematic Review
King-Shier, Kathryn M
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AbstractBackground This meta-narrative review, conducted according to the RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards) standards, critically examines the construct of self-compassion to determine if it is an accurate target variable to mitigate work-related stress and promote compassionate caregiving in healthcare providers. Methods PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched. Studies were coded as referring to: (1) conceptualisation of self-compassion; (2) measures of self-compassion; (3) self-compassion and affect; and (4) self-compassion interventions. A narrative approach was used to evaluate self-compassion as a paradigm. Results Sixty-nine studies were included. The construct of self-compassion in healthcare has significant limitations. Self-compassion has been related to the definition of compassion, but includes limited facets of compassion and adds elements of uncompassionate behavior. Empirical studies use the Self-Compassion Scale, which is criticised for its psychometric and theoretical validity. Therapeutic interventions purported to cultivate self-compassion may have a broader effect on general affective states. An alleged outcome of self-compassion is compassionate care; however, we found no studies that included patient reports on this primary outcome. Conclusion We critically examine and delineate self-compassion in healthcare providers as a composite of common facets of self-care, healthy self-attitude, and self-awareness rather than a construct in and of itself.
Post-print deposited as per publisher's self-archiving policy, April 11, 2017. https://authorservices.wiley.com/author-resources/Journal-Authors/licensing-and-open-access/open-access/self-archiving.html