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Compassion satisfaction and fatigue: an investigation into levels being reported by radiotherapy students

  • David Flinton (a1), Pam Cherry (a1), Richard Thorne (a1), Liam Mannion (a1), Chris O’Sullivan (a1) and Ricardo Khine (a1)...

Studies have investigated the prevalence of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in various healthcare professions. However, the majority of evidence is linked to the nursing profession and little is known about paramedical professions such as radiography and even less is known about its prevalence in students. The purpose of this study was to describe the levels of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in the student population and how they varied in time.


Students undertaking radiotherapy training at the researcher’s host sites were surveyed using the Professional Quality of Life questionnaire at the end of each final clinical block in each year of their training.

Results and conclusion

During the 3 years of training compassion satisfaction falls and burnout increases in the student population, although the change is not significant. Secondary traumatic stress increases significantly during the 3 years of training, F=5·725, p=0·005. Considerable variation also exists in the three scores dependent on the student’s clinical training site. Relationships are also observed between some personality traits, particularly conscientiousness and neuroticism and compassion scores.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: David Flinton, Division of Radiography, City, University of London, London EC1V 0HB, UK. Tel: 020 7040 5688. E-mail:
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Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice
  • ISSN: 1460-3969
  • EISSN: 1467-1131
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