Compassion fatigue amongst case manager

10 Strategic Points

Student’s name

Institutional Affiliation

Topic: Compassion fatigue amongst case manager

The selected topic for the 10 strategic points for the proposal is ‘compassion fatigue amongst case managers’. The topic will help determine how case managers describe emotional exhaustion and depersonalization as it influences their job satisfaction. The author chose this topic for three reasons. First, the author is passionate about performance in the workplace. Therefore, it will be interesting to research the topic as it relates to job performance. According to Luse et al (2012), passion is an important factor to consider while choosing a topic to research on. Second, the topic aligns with the author’s future career purpose. The author plans to help organizations improve their performance and productivity. The proposed topic will help identify strategies for success. Third, the topic aligns with the author’s degree specialization.


Wells-English et al., (2019) conducted a study to explore the relationship between compassion fatigue and turnover intention. The researchers found that compassion fatigue and burnout were significantly predictive of turnover intentions. However, according to Wells-English et al., (2019) additional studies are warranted to further investigate the contributing factors of compassion fatigue and establish effective interventions among health care providers. Also, future studies with more diverse demographics are required to explore the relationship between compassion fatigue and satisfaction.

According to Lisa (2019), further research is needed on the identification of compassion fatigue to prevent its manifestation. The authors also identify a research gap between compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction. According to Ray et al (2013), further studies are required to outline how healthcare organizations can help their employees avoid stress-related risks such as compassionate fatigue. Ray et al,. (2013), also identifies the need for further research to understand stress-related conditions such as compassionate fatigue.

Additional research is required on the impact of compassion fatigue and related constructs in healthcare providers’ physical health and overall wellbeing. Also, qualitative and quantitative studies on compassion fatigue and physical health are limited. Further exploration is required Patel, (2018). Thornton (2017), identifies the need for further research on compassion fatigue to help health care providers to increase compassion satisfaction. More exploration of the concept is recommended.

According to van MoI et al (2015), a thorough exploration of emotional distress with an emphasis on the prevalence of compassion fatigue among healthcare professionals is an appropriate step to developing preventative strategies. Further research is required to help determine strategies for managing stress when caring for difficult patients. Further research is also warranted to examine coping strategies for preventing compassion fatigue and burnout to improve the quality of life at work for healthcare providers (Hunsaker et al., 2014).

The available literature shows a clear need to conduct further research on compassion fatigue among health care providers. A focus on case managers is important because most available literature focuses on healthcare providers in general. It will be beneficial to conduct the proposed study to define the phenomenon clearly.

Theoretical Foundation

The foundation theory is Freudenberg’s burn out theory. In the theory, Freudenberg describes burnout as a state of being exhausted from excessive demands in the workplace. According to the theory, burnout is characterized by physical and behavioral signs (Heinemann & Heinemann, 2017). The physical signs include fatigue, breath shortness, frequent headaches, and exhaustion. Behavioral signs include anger, cynicism, overconfidence, frustration, signs of depression, and being suspicious.

According to the theory, committed and dedicated people are more likely to suffer burnout (Heinemann & Heinemann, 2017). Mostly the burnout occurs when involves more emotional work, intrinsic motivation, and personal involvement. These are the typical working conditions in the healthcare sector (Heinemann & Heinemann, 2017). Freudenberg believed that burnout is linked to working environments. He, therefore, recommended interventions at the organizational level. The interventions included staff training, job rotation, shorter working hours, and frequent supervision. The theory will help understand the causes of compassion fatigue among case managers and the possible symptoms.

Prior studies also indicate that Figley’s model of CF also points to the concept of compassion fatigue. According to the model, compassion fatigue seems to be a result of working with traumatized persons (Adams & Boscarino, 2006). That is, it occurs when professionals are exposed to a significant number of traumatized people and had an empathic experience. An empathic experience involves discussion of a traumatic experience in detail through a dramatic reenactment of events and role-playing. These activities are considered vital for a therapeutic process. However, they can have adverse emotional impacts on healthcare providers by causing secondary trauma which overlaps with job burnout and both are clinical features of compassion fatigue (Adams & Boscarino, 2006). The model provides a theoretical basis for researching the proposed topic to fill the identified research gap.

Problem Statement

It is not known how case managers describe emotional exhaustion and depersonalization as it influences their job satisfaction. Available research shows that healthcare providers are exposed to stressors that lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. This reduces job satisfaction characterized by turnover intentions. However, there is limited research about compassion fatigue amongst case managers. This is why it is not known how case managers describe emotional exhaustion and depersonalization as it influences their job satisfaction. The proposed research will help fill this research gap.


A qualitative methodology is selected for the 10-strategic points proposal. The qualitative methodology will produce descriptive data that the researcher will interpret and analyze to identify findings. The research will focus on words and depth rather than numbers and breadth. The researcher will seek to unearth the opinions of case managers. The researcher selected qualitative research for several reasons. First, through qualitative methodology, the researcher will an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon which is difficult to achieve through a quantitative study. The methodology will provide complex textual descriptions on how case managers describe emotional exhaustion and depersonalization as it influences their job satisfaction. This will help understand how respondents’ daily lives are influenced by compassion fatigue.

A phenomenological design will be implemented. This is a qualitative research design that emphasizes the importance of studying conscious experiences to understand reality. Through this research design, the researcher will; first, appreciate and describe social reality from different subjective perspectives of study respondents. Second, the researcher will understand the deep meaning causing subjective experiences. Case managers participating in the study will be interviewed to identify their experiences regarding compassion fatigue. Therefore, the selected design will enable the researcher to collect sufficient data to answer the research question. The design will also enable the researcher to include an appropriate sample size from the target population.  This is important as an appropriate sample size enhances the reliability and generalizability of research findings.


 Adams, R. & Boscarino, J. (2006). Compassion Fatigue and Psychological Distress among            Social Workers: A Validation Study. Am J Orthopsychiatry, 76(1), 103-108.

Heinemann, L. & Heinemann, T. (2017). Burnout Research: Emergence and Scientific Investigation of a Contested Diagnosis. SAGE Open, 1-12.

Hunsaker, S., Maughan, D. & Heaston, S. (2014). Factors That Influence the Development of    Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction in Emergency      Department Nurses. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(2), 186-194.

Lisa, C. (2019). Compassion Fatigue in Palliative Care Nursing; A Concept Analysis. Journal     of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 21 (1), 21-28.

Luse, A., Mennecke, B. & Townsend, A. (2012). Selecting a Research Topic: A Framework for Doctoral Students. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 7, 143–152.

Patel, R. (2018). Compassion Fatigue among Mental Healthcare Providers and the Impact       on Overall Wellbeing. University of San Francisco. Doctoral Dissertations, 456, 1-     103.

Ray, S., Wong, C., White, D. & Heaslip, K. (2013). Compassion Satisfaction, Compassion       Fatigue, Work Life Conditions, and Burnout among Frontline Mental Health Care           Professionals. Traumatology, 19 (4), 255-267.

Thornton, M. (2017). Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue among Pediatric          Nurses and the Impact on Patient Satisfaction. Nursing ETDs, 1-143.

van Mol MMC, Kompanje EJO, Benoit DD,Bakker J, Nijkamp MD (2015) The Prevalence            of Compassion Fatigue and Burnout among Healthcare Professionals in Intensive             Care Units: A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE, 10(8).

Wells-English, D., Giese, J. & Price, J. (2019) Compassion Fatigue and Satisfaction. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 23 (5), 487- 493.

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