CF (Compassion Fatigue)

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This term is often used in mental health as a synonym for Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS, see term listed separately below). However the definition of CF used herein recognizes it as umbrella syndrome that involves both STS and the condition commonly referred to as openqquoteburnoutendqquote. Burnout openqquote...concerns things such as exhaustion, frustration, anger and depression...endqquote[1] This component of Compassion Fatigue emphasizes that the openqquote...caregiverapostrophes experience of empathy with those that are served can reach a point where continued exposure to the stressor will overtax the abilities of the individual to effectively manage the stress. Exhaustion ensues.endqquote[2] Thus the caregiver, such as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, may cease feeling compassion for those he serves, resulting in impaired work performance and experience diminished quality of life.


  1. Source: Beth Hudnall Stamm, Director, Institute of Rural Health, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA. See, last accessed 10.10.12.
  2. Troxell, R. , 2008. Ibid.