Psychosocial hazards in mental healthcare contribute to the development of compassion fatigue in mental health professionals. Compassion fatigue has a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of professionals that can impair the quality of services provided to clients. The majority of research on compassion fatigue has focused on individual-level variables such as gender, history of trauma and age, among others. It is also imperative to understand the role played by alterable work-related characteristics in contributing to the development of compassion fatigue in order to attenuate its impact on mental health professionals and their clients. The present review examined articles exploring work-related factors associated with compassion fatigue. Fifteen quantitative studies were included and their quality was assessed using a checklist. An inductive content-analysis approach was adopted to synthesise the themes emerging from the data. The results suggested a theoretical model consistent with the Job Demands-Resources model, wherein job demands (such as workplace trauma, workload and therapeutic settings) are associated with compassion fatigue, and job resources (such as supervisors’, coworkers’ and organisational support) mitigate the impact of job demands. In addition to person-oriented factors, work-related factors are critical for the prevention of compassion fatigue.
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