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Title: Improvements in Compassion and Fears of Compassion throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multinational Study
Authors: Matos, Marcela 
McEwan, Kirsten
Kanovský, Martin
Halamová, Júlia
Steindl, Stanley R.
Ferreira, Nuno
Linharelhos, Mariana 
Rijo, Daniel 
Asano, Kenichi
Vilas, Sara P.
Márquez, Margarita G.
Gregório, Sónia 
Brito-Pons, Gonzalo
Santos, Paola Lucena dos 
da Silva Oliveira, Margareth
de Souza, Erika Leonardo
Llobenes, Lorena
Gumiy, Natali
Costa, Maria Ileana
Habib, Noor
Hakem, Reham
Khrad, Hussain
Alzahrani, Ahmad
Cheli, Simone
Petrocchi, Nicola
Tholouli, Elli
Issari, Philia
Simos, Gregoris
Lunding-Gregersen, Vibeke
Elklit, Ask
Kolts, Russell 
Kelly, Allison C. 
Bortolon, Catherine 
Delamillieure, Pascal
Paucsik, Marine
Wahl, Julia E.
Zieba, Mariusz
Zatorski, Mateusz
Komendziński, Tomasz
Zhang, Shuge
Basran, Jaskaran 
Kagialis, Antonios
Kirby, James
Gilbert, Paul 
Keywords: compassion; fears of compassion; longitudinal; multilevel modelling; multinational study; COVID-19; pandemic
Issue Date: 19-Jan-2023
Publisher: MDPI
Project: UID/PSI/00730/2020 
Slovak Research and Development Agency (J.H. & M.K.; Contract no. PP-COVID- 20-0074) and the Vedecká Grantová Agentúra VEGA (J.H.; Grant 1/0075/19). The Canadian arm of the study was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant (A.K., ref. 435-2017-0062). 
Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (M.S.O.; Scientific Productivity Grant) 
Serial title, monograph or event: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 20
Issue: 3
Abstract: During large-scale disasters, social support, caring behaviours, and compassion are shown to protect against poor mental health outcomes. This multi-national study aimed to assess the fluctuations in compassion over time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents (Time 1 n = 4156, Time 2 n = 980, Time 3 n = 825) from 23 countries completed online self-report questionnaires measuring the flows of compassion (i.e., Compassionate Engagement and Action Scales) and fears of compassion toward self and others and from others (i.e., Fears of Compassion Scales) and mental health at three time-points during a 10-month period. The results for the flows of compassion showed that self-compassion increased at Time 3. Compassion for others increased at Time 2 and 3 for the general population, but in contrast, it decreased in health professionals, possibly linked to burnout. Compassion from others did not change in Time 2, but it did increase significantly in Time 3. For fears of compassion, fears of self-compassion reduced over time, fears of compassion for others showed more variation, reducing for the general public but increasing for health professionals, whilst fears of compassion from others did not change over time. Health professionals, those with compassion training, older adults, and women showed greater flows of compassion and lower fears of compassion compared with the general population, those without compassion training, younger adults, and men. These findings highlight that, in a period of shared suffering, people from multiple countries and nationalities show a cumulative improvement in compassion and reduction in fears of compassion, suggesting that, when there is intense suffering, people become more compassionate to self and others and less afraid of, and resistant to, compassion.
ISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20031845
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CINEICC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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