Evaluating compassion satisfaction and the risk of compassion fatigue among those working at non-human primate sanctuaries and wildlife centers
Date of Degree Completion
Master of Science (MS)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
John B. Mulcahy
Compassion fatigue, an occupational risk commonly associated with caregiving professions, can have adverse effects for individual employee wellbeing, organizational productivity, and the quality of care that patients receive. Within animal-care worker samples, previous research suggests that around 25 percent of employees are at a high risk of developing compassion fatigue (i.e., experiencing burnout and secondary traumatic stress concurrently). To my knowledge, this thesis is the first study to explore compassion fatigue within the primate sanctuary field. Thirty-nine eligible participants completed an online survey that probed professional quality of life via the ProQOL 5, perceived workplace support via the Trauma-Informed Organizational Culture (TIOC) survey, observation frequency of different primate behaviors, demographic and work characteristics, and the most challenging and rewarding components of providing care to captive primates. Findings suggest that this sample had significantly higher rates of compassion satisfaction and lower risk of developing compassion fatigue compared to other animal-care worker samples. Correlational and multiple regression analyses revealed that continent of residence, perceived workplace support, gender, and career length were all important predictors for burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction within this sample. Free-response answers further indicated that there are a wide variety of challenges and rewards within this field which may impact burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction.
Rantala, Madalyn, "Evaluating compassion satisfaction and the risk of compassion fatigue among those working at non-human primate sanctuaries and wildlife centers" (2021). All Master's Theses. 1494.
Animal Studies Commons, Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Commons, Other Anthropology Commons