Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Athletic Training – Post Professional Concentration

Committee Chairperson

Lindsey Keenan, PhD, LAT, ATC

Committee Member

Emily Duckett, MS, LAT, ATC

Committee Member

Alison Gardiner Shires, PhD, LAT, ATC



Context: Compassion Fatigue is prevalent in many health care professions; however, prevalence in athletic trainers have not been examined. Given the high rate burnout and excessive demand placed upon those employed in athletic training profession, there is a need to examine the overall professional quality of life in order to identify compassion imbalances that may affect both patient care and personal well-being. Methods: A total of 293 clinically active National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) members (33.4% male, 66.6% female) completed a demographics questionnaire along with the Professional Quality of Life-21 (ProQOL-21) survey provided via Qualtrics online software. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the prevalence of the professional quality of life scales including compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue, and a Pearson’s Correlation was conducted to examine the relationship between these two factors. Results: More than half the participants (55.3%, n = 162) experienced an average level of compassion fatigue, while another 25.6% (n = 81) of participants were categorized as experiencing high compassion fatigue. Similarly, half of the participants (53.6%, n = 157) experienced average compassion satisfaction. The bivariate correlation analysis indicated a significant, negative relationship between compassion fatigue and satisfaction, r = -.377, n = 293, p = .001. Conclusions: Athletic Trainers experience average satisfaction in their clinical compassion when providing care to patients; however, compassion fatigue is also prevalent in this profession. Additional research is warranted to further investigate this relationship in athletic training and examine both prevention and causes of compassion fatigue. Word Count:250