[Secondary traumatization/trauma among employees in palliative care units--the products of prolonged repeated exposure to suffering and death] Academic Article uri icon


  • The palliative care philosophy accepts the dying process as a natural phase in the life cycle and provides quality end of life care for terminal patients and their family members. Prolonged exposure to the physical symptoms and pain, as well as the psychological, spiritual, and existential suffering of the dying patient, may be fertile ground for the development of post-traumatic stress symptoms among palliative care teams. Work-related positive outcomes (such as compassion, satisfaction and meaning) and work-related negative outcomes (such as compassion fatigue, secondary traumatization and burnout) can exist side by side, and the unique balance between them will determine the quality of life of the worker. This review presents the current knowledge about the prevalence and causes of work-related stress outcomes among palliative care teams and measurement tools that are available. The literature review discusses secondary traumatization in palliative care teams and relevant messages for the development of treatment options, burnout prevention programs and support interventions for professionals who lead the care for terminal patients in Israel.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012