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Happiness and Well-Being: Integrating Research Across the Disciplines Research Project Grant

Compassion at the heart of well-being: An inter- disciplinary study of well-being in a healthcare setting

Prof Felicia Huppert; Dr Paul Atkins; Prof Joseph Ciarrochi; Dr Greg Fairbrother; Dr Anya Johnson; Prof Simon Keller; Dr Helena Nguyen; Dr Sean O’Connor; Dr Baljinder Sahdra; Dr Geoffrey Samuel; Nickolas Yu

Work and Organisational Studies

Project Summary

This project uses multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore: a) the nature of compassion and well-being, and the ways they are related; b) the acceptability and effectiveness of interventions to enhance compassion and well-being; and c) the effects of these interventions on both the individual and those around them. The core of the project is a randomised control trial with nurses, for whom compassion and well-being are vital to the provision of quality care, but who often work in settings which produce high stress, emotional overload, overwork, and ‘compassion fatigue’. The RCT compares two compassion-based interventions and a control condition using a research design which incorporates qualitative and quantitative outcome measures in participants as well as staff and patients with whom they interact. The study employs a number of objective measures such as psychophysiological markers of stress and resilience, social network analysis, and ethnographic observations. Our project aims to contribute to the best-practice design of interventions to enhance compassion and well-being.

Funding

July 2016 – July 2018

Total

$315,000 (AUD)