A pilot study to test psychophonetics methodology for self-care and empathy in compassion fatique, burnout and secondary traumatic stress
Train, Katherine J.
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Background: Home-based care is recognised as being a stressful occupation. Practitioners working with patients experiencing high levels of trauma may be susceptible to compassion fatigue, with the sustained need to remain empathic being a contributing factor. Objectives: The aim of this research was to evaluate psychophonetics methodology for selfcare and empathy skills as an intervention for compassion fatigue. Objectives were to measure levels of compassion fatigue pre-intervention, then to apply the intervention and retest levels one month and six months post-intervention. Method: The research applied a pilot test of a developed intervention as a quasi-experiment. The study sample comprised home-based carers working with HIV-positive patients at a hospice in Grabouw, a settlement in the Western Cape facing socioeconomic challenge. Results: The result of the pilot study showed a statistically-significant improvement in secondary traumatic stress, a component of compassion fatigue, measured with the ProQOL v5 instrument post-intervention. Conclusion: The results gave adequate indication for the implementation of a larger study in order to apply and test the intervention. The study highlights a dire need for further research in this field.