Compassion fatigue is characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion and the ability to care for others over time. It is common among people who provide care for other people on a regular basis. The symptoms are normal displays of chronic stress resulting from caregiving. Becoming aware of the symptoms is the first important step to recovering your ability to effectively care for another once more. The following two questionnaires are designed to help you measure your level of self-compassion and identify symptoms of compassion fatigue.
First Exercise: Self-Compassion Scale
Complete the Self-Compassion Scale to identify the particular area(s) that may need attention. Most of these aspects are improved by activities such as mindfulness exercises (e.g. guided self-compassion or loving-kindness meditations), relaxation exercises, social activities, and talking with other caregivers, help groups, and professionals. Please read each statement carefully before answering. To the left of each item, indicate how often you behave in the statement, using the following scale. Write each score (1 to 5) in the allocated block. Add the scores on each scale (A to F) up and enter the numbers in the subtotal blocks. Add all the subtotals together to get a grand total.
** Note that some items (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, & 25) are reverse-scored. This means that, for these questions, you should add “1” if you have allocated a “5” (almost always), “2” for a “4”, “4” for a “2”, and “1” for a “5” (almost never). For example, if you have answered “4” for question no. 1 (“I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.”), your score should be a “2”.
Download and print Self-Compassion Scale questionnaire here: Self-Compassion Scale Questionnaire
In the next exercise, the Professional Quality of Life scale is introduced to help determine if and how your support and caregiving activities have impacted your life and wellbeing.