The research studies focus on several consequences of helping work which can be experienced by helping professionals most often – compassion satisfaction (Stamm, 1999; Stamm, 2010), compassion fatigue (Figley, 1995; Figley, 2002; Stamm, 2010), burnout (Figley, 1995; Figley, 2002; Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996; Stamm, 2010), and perceived stress (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983; Tilley & Chambers, 2003). The research studies suggest that it is possible to increase the level of compassion satisfaction and decrease the level of compassion fatigue (secondary traumatic stress and burnout) among helping professionals by performing self-care activities (Alkema, Linton, & Davies, 2008; Bloomquist et al., 2015; Killian, 2008; Lawson & Myers, 2011). The present research study was therefore focused on the analysis of compassion satisfaction, secondary traumatic stress, burnout, emotional well-being, and self-care among helping professionals in Slovakia. The first aim of the study was to examine the prevalence of selected, positive and negative, aspects of professional helping (compassion satisfaction, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, emotional well-being and performed self-care) among the Slovak helping professionals. The second aim of the study was to examine the predictive utility of emotional well-being and self-care activities in explaining the level of compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress among helping professionals in Slovakia. The results indicated the higher incidence of positive than negative aspects of helping among helping professionals who experienced higher levels of compassion satisfaction, higher levels of positive emotions; and lower levels of negative emotions, burnout and secondary traumatic stress. The results also suggested that the helping professionals performed more physical than psychological self-care activities. The results indicated the importance of emotional well-being and performed self-care activities in explaining the levels of compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress experienced by Slovak helping professionals working in institutions providing social care for orphans. The findings of the research provide a deeper insight into the positive and negative effects of the professional helping and will be used as a research background in the subsequent preparation of the intervention programmes aimed at promoting compassion satisfaction and eliminating burnout and secondary traumatic stress among helping professionals in Slovakia.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.