Chronobiological factors for compassion satisfaction and fatigue among ambulatory oncology caregivers

Primary caregivers for victims of chronic illness and or trauma experience both positive and negative emotional consequences. These are broadly classified as compassion satisfaction (CS) and compassion fatigue (CF). Because one of the components of CF, burnout, varies with chronotype and sleep quality, we assessed the influence of chronobiological features on the broader constructs of CS and CF. Responses from primary ambulatory care oncology staff working dayshifts were assessed for potential relationships of chronotype and sleep quality with CS and CF using the professional quality of life scale. These were analyzed further in a multivariate model that included personality and job satisfaction as cofactors. We found that sleep quality was a key contributor to CS development and CF reduction. Morningness was positively linked to CS, but the univariate association was masked in the multivariate model. Job satisfaction (contingent rewards, nature of work and operating procedures) heavily influenced CS and CF development. Agreeableness and openness showed positive correlations with CS and negative with burnout, while emotional stability was linked to reduced CF. While job satisfaction and personality predictably played roles in the development of CS and CF, sleep quality and chronotype contributed significantly to benefits and negative consequences of providing care.