Recreational therapists are at risk for compassion fatigue, more specifically, secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Limited research has been conducted in this area. To address this gap, this study sought to examine compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction in recreational therapists around the nation and to uncover any differences related to demographic variables. The sample consisted of 931 Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists. Overall, the sample had high to average levels of compassion satisfaction, average levels of burnout, and low levels of secondary traumatic stress. Males reported higher levels of compassion satisfaction than females. Statistically significant differences were found in compassion satisfaction for years worked, population served, and age of the population. For burnout and secondary traumatic stress, significant differences were found for gender, years worked, and population served. Self-care practices and organizational strategies to avert compassion fatigue are discussed. Also, study limitations and direction for future research are outlined.
Author Angela J. Wozencroft, Jason L. Scott, Steven N. Waller
Volume Vol. 53, No. 1 (2019)