Self-compassion In Hospice and Palliative Care: A Systematic Integrative Review

Ana Cláudia Mesquita Garcia, Brenda Domingues Silva, Letícia Cristine Oliveira da Silva, Jason Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Those involved with hospice and palliative care, including nurses, will inevitably experience or be exposed to suffering. Self-compassion represents a personal resource and support for self-care, ensuring that needs are not neglected particularly during times of suffering. However, the empirical evidence for self-compassion in hospice and palliative care is yet to be reviewed systematically. To synthesize the evidence on self-compassion in hospice and palliative care patients, their relatives, and health care professionals, we conducted a systematic integrative review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses statement. For patients, self-compassion was associated with reduced stress, anxiety, shame, depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, and loneliness. It was also associated with increased social capital, self-soothing, mindfulness, compassion, causal reasoning ability, psychosocial and spiritual well-being, legacy, courage, and commitment. For health care professionals, self-compassion was associated with increased capacity for self-care, mindfulness, and professional quality of life and a decrease in perceived burnout risk and secondary traumatic stress. No studies were found to involve patients' relatives. Self-compassion seems to be an important resource in hospice and palliative care. It supports self-care and alleviates suffering by improving the social, psychosocial, and spiritual well-being of patients and health care professionals, including hospice and palliative care nurses. Future research should include care patients' relatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of hospice and palliative nursing : JHPN : the official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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