Cultivating Compassionate Resilience in Healthcare Practitioners

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Cultivating Compassionate Resilience in Healthcare Practitioners
Stream: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Ann Pettit, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom
Andy McVicar, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom
Pamela Knight-Davidson, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom
Adelle Shaw-Flach, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom


Compassionate Resilience in healthcare practitioners contributes to quality care and staff wellbeing. The purpose of this research was to develop a health practitioners post-registration curriculum based on the compassionate mind model, with the objective of improving practitioner health, preventing burnout and promoting compassionate resilience.

Initial research used a mixed method longitudinal approach (Pettit et al, 2019; McVicar et al, 2020). The study participants were student specialist community public health nurses. Data from the first phase of research was analysed using SPSS and a thematic analysis. The current phase of research addresses how qualified health visitors develop resilience when working with vulnerable infants, with emphasis on the possible role of self-compassion. This phase is using a compassionate multiphase, narrative approach.

It was identified that time pressure, targets and working culture suppress compassion and role modelling potentially promotes compassion while latent compassion can be realised by promoting self-compassion. Quantitative findings support that the application of the Compassionate Mind Model reduces practitioners’ fears of compassion linked to a decrease in risk of compassion fatigue.

The research findings led to the development of a compassionate resilience programme including compassionate resilience workshops and bespoke training for perinatal and infant mental health teams. These continue to evolve in response to healthcare practitioner and client needs, in order to reduce the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The programme has benefited practitioners, informed national guidance for health visitors and midwives, been adopted by NHS managers and promoted through an International Compassion network of over 60 universities.

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