Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health Science

First Advisor

Musheera Anis


Compassion fatigue can worsen recreational therapists’ quality of life, leaving lasting impacts on a professional’s a professionals' work, home, and social environments. There is little to no research that discusses the impact of resilience and professional practice demographics on compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue among recreational therapists. This nonexperimental correlational dissertation study examined the impact of resilience and professional practice demographics on the professional quality life (compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue) in a group of recreational therapists. A total of 677 recreational therapists were analyzed after responding to an online survey that included a professional practice demographic questionnaire, the Professional Quality of Life scale, and the Scale of Protective Factors. Overall, this sample showed moderate levels of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue with adequate levels of resilience. Results suggest that as resilience increases, compassion satisfaction also increases, while compassion fatigue decreases. This sample was found to have higher levels of cognitive resilience than social resilience. Additionally, this dissertation study suggests that older females with longer years of work experience have the highest levels of compassion satisfaction, while older males with longer years of work experience have the lowest levels of compassion fatigue. Risk factors for lower compassion satisfaction were identified as providing individual treatment sessions, and risk factors for compassion fatigue were identified as treating clients with trauma histories. Findings indicate further exploration into the effect of compassion satisfaction and resilience as shielding agents to compassion fatigue is warranted in this population. Additionally, there is a need for interventions that may help in the management of compassion fatigue.

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, Professional Practice Demographics, Professional Quality of Life, Recreational Therapist, Resileince

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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