Resilience at Work, Burnout, Secondary Trauma, and Compassion Satisfaction of Social Workers Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Anva Ratzon*, Moshe Farhi, Navah Ratzon, Bruria Adini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Social workers during the COVID-19 pandemic are at risk due to exposure to varied populations in need, which may impact their resilience, burnout, secondary trauma, and compassion satisfaction. The study assessed resilience at work, burnout, secondary trauma, and compassion satisfaction among social workers in Israel during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (May to June 2020). A convenience sample of 332 social workers (291 women (87.6%)) filled out an online, structured questionnaire that included demographics, a professional quality of life scale (ProQOL) (including three subscales), and resilience at work (RAW) (including seven subscales). The overall mean of the RAW was medium (m = 71, SD + 8.9) compared to standardized scores. The mean scores of two of the subscales of the RAW, maintaining perspective and staying healthy, were low. The mean scores of the sub-scales of ProQOL were: compassion satisfaction was close to the 50th percentile (M = 48.25); burnout (M = 30.18) and secondary trauma (M = 26.27) were below the 25th percentile. Significant low to medium positive associations were found between all the dependent variables, except for staying healthy. A negative association was identified between compassion satisfaction and burnout, as well as between compassion satisfaction and secondary trauma. High levels of compassion satisfaction and contentment, low levels of secondary trauma, and having a managerial position were predicted to be 40% of the RAW. Lower levels of maintaining perspective, secondary trauma, and being younger predicted 27% of burnout. Higher levels of finding your calling, living authentically, maintaining perspective, interacting cooperatively, being older, and not being a manager predicted 58% of compassion satisfaction. Lower levels of burnout, maintaining perspective, and being younger predicted 36% of secondary trauma. As the COVID-19 pandemic still challenges most societies, policymakers should consider ways to integrate mechanisms that will enhance social workers’ resilience at work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5500
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • burnout
  • compassion satisfaction
  • secondary trauma
  • social workers
  • work-resilience


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