The Emergence Of Personal Growth Amongst Healthcare Professionals Who Care For Dying Children


The Emergence Of Personal Growth Amongst Healthcare Professionals Who Care For Dying Children


Beaune L; Muskat B; Anthony SJ




Palliat Support Care




Compassion Fatigue; Palliative Care; Pediatrics; Personal Growth; Qualitative Methods


OBJECTIVE: Compassion fatigue, burnout, and vicarious traumatization are prominent topics in the current literature on the impact of the rewarding but challenging work of healthcare professionals who care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. The positive effects of caregiving constitute a newly emerging outcome that has been relatively unexplored in the pediatric literature, and yet they may play an important role in contributing to the satisfaction and well-being of the healthcare professionals who care for children who have a life-limiting illness. METHOD: This paper reports the results of a secondary analysis of qualitative interview transcripts that explored the experiences of hospital-based pediatric healthcare providers caring for children with varied life-limiting illnesses. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 25 healthcare professionals (9 social workers, 8 nurses, and 8 physicians). The majority of participants were women (80%), with an age range between 20 and 60 years, and most (84%) had the experience of caring for more than 15 dying children. Thematic analysis was conducted using interpretive description and constant comparison. RESULTS: Every healthcare professional interviewed experienced personal growth as a result of their providing care for dying children. Three dimensions of personal growth were most consistently reported: (1) new or altered life perspectives, (2) enhanced personal resources, and (3) benevolence. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: A deeper understanding of the phenomenon of personal growth could help healthcare organizations to implement innovative approaches that would counterbalance compassion fatigue, and thereby enhance both healthcare provider well-being and child and family outcomes.


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Citation List Month

July 2017 List


Beaune, Laura
Muskat, Barbara
Anthony, Samantha J
Journal Article
Palliat Support Care. 2017 May 22:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S1478951517000396.


Beaune L; Muskat B; Anthony SJ, “The Emergence Of Personal Growth Amongst Healthcare Professionals Who Care For Dying Children,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 26, 2024,