Self-compassion, health outcomes, and family carers of older adults: An integrative review

Jenny Murfield, Wendy Moyle, Cindy Jones, Analise O’Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This review sought to synthesize published evidence about the role of self-compassion on health outcomes for family carers of older adults, to describe the current state of knowledge.

Method: Using an integrative review method that permitted any research design, eight databases were searched. Extensive searching of gray literature sources was also undertaken. Studies included in the review underwent processes of methodological quality assessment (Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool – Version 2011), data extraction, analysis, and syntheses.

Results: Four studies were included: two randomized controlled trials, a descriptive cross-sectional survey, and a qualitative study. There was preliminary evidence to show the potential of self-compassion to help family carers cope and reduce levels of burden. However, efficacy of self-compassion interventions to improve family carer health outcomes could not be determined.

Conclusions: Self-compassion in family carers of older adults is a new and emerging research area, and there is very little published evidence about how self-compassion might be developed to improve health outcomes for family carers.

Clinical Implications: To inform clinical understanding within this population, future quality research is needed, particularly regarding proof-of-concept, moderating effects of carer and care recipient factors, reliability of self-compassion measures, and the development and testing of self-compassion based interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


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