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An internet-based compassion course for healthcare professionals: Rationale and protocol for a randomised controlled trial
Linnaeus Univ, Fac Hlth & Life Sci, Dept Psychol, S-35195 Vaxjo, Sweden.
Linnaeus Univ, Fac Hlth & Life Sci, Dept Psychol, S-35195 Vaxjo, Sweden.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Linnaeus Univ, Fac Hlth & Life Sci, Dept Hlth & Caring Sci, Vaxjo, Sweden; Uppsala Univ, Ctr Clin Res Sormland, Eskilstuna, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1878-0992
Linnaeus Univ, Fac Hlth & Life Sci, Dept Hlth & Caring Sci, Vaxjo, Sweden.
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2022 (English)In: Internet Interventions, ISSN 2214-7829, Vol. 28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Severe stress is one of the most common causes of sick leave in Sweden. Previous research has shown that compassion interventions for healthcare professionals can decrease work-related stress through the introduction of self-care, self-awareness, and emotion regulation abilities when experiencing difficult situations. Internet-based stress management interventions have hitherto shown promising results in reducing stress. However, further research is needed to examine the effectiveness of internet-based compassion interventions for healthcare professionals. Objective: In the present study protocol, a randomised controlled trial is described, aiming to examine the effects of an internet-based compassion course for healthcare professionals on work-related stress and stress of conscience. Method: Healthcare professionals will be offered an internet-based stress management course of five modules across a period of five weeks. The design is a randomised controlled study consisting of three groups enrolled in one of the following: a compassion course (n = 120), a cognitive behavioural stress management course (n = 120), or placed on a waitlist followed by either the compassion course or the cognitive behavioural stress management course (n = 36). We hypothesise that the internet-based compassion course would reduce the participants' stress of conscience to a greater degree compared to the other two groups. The secondary hypothesis is that the compassion course would increase the participants' professional quality of life (i.e., higher job satisfaction and lower empathy fatigue) and self-compassion. In addition, the internet-based compassion course is expected to reduce the participants' work-related stress and sick leave rates to the same degree (non-inferiority) as the cognitive behavioural stress management course and to a higher degree when compared to the waitlist condition. The primary outcome measure is the Stress of Conscience Questionnaire (SCQ) and the secondary outcome measures are the Professional Quality of Life Scale (PROQOL), the Work-related Stress Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ), and the Self-compassion Scale (SCS). Assessments will be performed at baseline, four weekly assessments during treatment, post-treatment (5 weeks), and follow-ups at 10 weeks, 15 weeks, and 6 months. The repeated measures data will be analysed using a generalised estimating equation for repeated measurements to examine whether changes over time differ between the groups and whether the improvements persist over time. Discussion: The clinical trial is expected to provide novel data on the effects of compassion interventions and add to the existing knowledge of internet-based interventions for stress management in healthcare professionals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 28
Keywords [en]
Compassionate mind training course, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Healthcare professionals, Stress management course, Internet-based intervention, Stress of conscience, COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY, SELF-COMPASSION, CONSCIENCE, STRESS
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-58625DOI: 10.1016/j.invent.2021.100463ISI: 000799991900003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85116622972OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-58625DiVA, id: diva2:1665846
Available from: 2022-06-08 Created: 2022-06-08 Last updated: 2022-06-15Bibliographically approved

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