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The authors investigated a psychological process that links characteristics of events related to the coronavirus disease (2019) COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. perceived novelty, disruptiveness and criticality) to compassion fatigue [(CF), a form of caregiver burnout] and subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in nurses.Design/methodology/approachAdministering two online surveys (October and November 2020) resulted in matched data from 175 nurses responsible for patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.FindingsPerceived disruptiveness and criticality of COVID-19 events were positively associated with nurses' CF, which also mediated those characteristics' effects on PTSD instigated by COVID-19. Contrary to the authors' hypothesis, the perceived novelty of COVID-19 events was not significantly associated with CF nor was the indirect effect of perceived novelty on PTSD mediated by CF.Originality/valueThe authors extend event system theory by investigating the psychological processes linking event features and resultant outcomes while providing practical implications on preparations for future unexpected and potentially life-altering events.
Journal of Managerial Psychology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 15, 2022
Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Nurses; Event system theory; Compassion fatigue; PTSD
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