Releasing latent compassion through an innovative compassion curriculum for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses

Pettit, Ann and McVicar, Andrew J. and Knight-Davidson, Pamela and Shaw-Flach, Adelle (2019) Releasing latent compassion through an innovative compassion curriculum for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 75 (5). pp. 1053-1062. ISSN 1365-2648

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (765kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Aims: To evaluate the impact of a curriculum based on the Compassionate Mind Model designed to facilitate the expression of compassion in Specialist Community Public Health Nurses. Background: The Compassionate Mind Model identifies that fear of compassion creates a barrier to the flow of compassion. There is some evidence linking self-compassion to compassionate care but no previous research has explored this potential with post registration specialist community public health nursing students. Design: Prospective, longitudinal design using focus group interviews. Methods: 26 students (81% of cohort) agreed to participate in a wider evaluation (2014-2015). For this study, two groups were drawn from those participants (total 13 students) who attended audio-taped group interviews at the course mid- and end-points to explore their perceptions on compassion and compassionate care. Transcripts were analysed thematically. Findings: A number of sub-themes were identified. ‘Cultural change in the NHS’, ‘Workload and meeting targets’ and ‘Lack of time were barriers to compassionate care, as was negative ‘Role modelling’. These were collated under a macro-theme of ‘A culture lacking in compassion’. Secondly, the sub-themes ‘Actualisation of compassion’ and ‘Transformation’ were collated within a macro-theme: ‘Realisation of compassion’. This theme identified realisation of latent compassion from their previous roles that in some transferred into students’ personal lives suggesting a transformation beyond professional attitude. Conclusion: The curriculum facilitated a realisation of compassion in students over the period of the course by enhancing their capacity to be self-compassionate and by actualisation of compassion that had previously been suppressed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Compassion, Education, Health Visitors, Nursing, Self-compassion, Specialist Community Public Health Nurses
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Prof Andrew McVicar
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2019 14:25
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:55

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item