Monash University
4712140_monash_168054.pdf (5.16 MB)

Nurses’ attitudes, compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue associated with the pain management of patients with sickle cell disease crisis in Saudi Arabia: a qualitative descriptive study

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posted on 2017-03-02, 03:08 authored by Ibn Alshaikh, Zahra
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the chronic haematological disorders. It is common in African as well as in Indian- Arab originals. Saudi Arabia (SA) is one of the Arabian Gulf countries that has a high percentage of this disease especially in the Eastern province. Literature review: Health care providers’ attitudes vary between positive and negative towards sickle cell patients, especially in relation to pain and drug addiction. This variation depends on several factors such as: providers’ experiences, number of treated patients and lack of knowledge about this condition. Registered nurses who work in critical services have moderate job satisfaction, and mild to moderate compassion fatigue. There was no study that examines the effect of treating patients in pain on nurses’ level of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue. Although the percentage of sickle cell patients in SA is high, there are no studies that consider nurses’ attitudes toward those patients. Methodology: A descriptive qualitative design was used to explore nurses’ experiences and attitudes towards patients with a painful crisis from SCD. Semi-structured, audio recorded interviews were conducted with registered nurses (n= 10) working in the critical areas of Emergency Department, Inherited Blood Disorders Centre and Intensive Care Unit. Results: Three themes were obtained from the data analysis. The participants found caring for sickle cell patients difficult and stressful. This care has an influence on their professional and personal life. The participants showed moderate to low compassionate fatigue and high to moderate compassion satisfaction while caring for sickle cell patients. Implications: There is a need for further research, larger and replicated studies would provide a stronger basis for determining key aspects of this phenomena. Based on this study’s findings education related to SCD and pain management to improve nurses’ knowledge about the disease might support their capacity to care. Conclusion: Nurses were affected by the experiences of caring for patients with sickle cell crises characterised by pain. The nurses’ attitudes toward these patients varied. Sometimes their attitudes were positive and they were motivated to assist as fully as they could. At other times they experienced frustration and a range of barriers, which negatively affected their capacity and attitudes to care.


Principal supervisor

Cheryle Moss

Additional supervisor 1

Jennifer Newton

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School of Nursing and Midwifery

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Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences

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