Reliability alongside validity is a key determinant of the quality of research. The former primarily focuses on the consistency of the findings in regards to the reproducibility of the results (Gitomer et al., 2021). In other words, reliability highlights whether or not an outcome of the research can be replicated with an equivalent outcome. A study conducted by Delaney (2018) analyzed the effect of Mindful Self-Compassion or MSC on the element of compassion fatigue among nursing professionals. The rationale is substantiated by the fact that nursing specialists commonly experience burnout not only due to excessive workload but also due to the mental energy needed in order to provide care for each patient. Therefore, it is highly important to evaluate and assess intervention measures designed to minimize the effect of compassion fatigue.
The methodological framework is an observational mixed research pilot study with a sample size of 13 nurses. The findings can be categorized as reliable since all nurses exhibit consistency in regards to pre- and post-intervention changes, where the Cronbach alpha value for self-compassion is equal to 0.97, and the value for burnout is equal to 0.72 (Delaney, 2018). Therefore, all nurses show that there was a significant degree of increase in their self-compassion, whereas the state of burnout became less severe. The study contributes to scientific rigor in terms of reliability by providing highly reliable and consistent evidence for the implications of MSC training for nursing specialists undergoing stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.
Unlike reliability, validity focuses on the factor of accuracy rather than consistency. A study’s findings can be considered valid if the results measure what was supposed to be measured (Gitomer et al., 2021). For example, research results can be consistent and reliable but lack accuracy or validity, which will alter their state of quality. The study by Delaney (2018) has results, which have a high degree of validity since the measurements of self-compassion and burnout measure these notions precisely. The factor of validity is substantiated and evidenced by a positive correlation with alternative measurement instruments and methods applied on the equivalent concepts (Delaney, 2018). For instance, the study uses Neff. 26 item Self-Compassion scale as a main instrument of analysis, whereas Connor-Davidson Resilience scale, Proqul Professional Quality of Life Scale, and Freiburg Short Mindfulness scale uniformly show similar results (Delaney, 2018). In other words, the utilization of differential methods of measurement of key constructs supports the fact that the study findings are valid and accurate.
The study contributes to the scientific rigor in terms of validity by providing invaluably accurate data on MSC’s effectiveness for compassion fatigue and burnout among nursing specialists. Thus, long-term, diverse, and complex cognitive-emotional situations of communication in the professional environment of nurses place high demands on communicative competence. The ability of nurses’ medical staff not to notice their emotions is undoubtedly attractive to society when they help a patient to cope with a serious illness, but this condition, without proper social support, reduces the health resource of specialists. Thus, there is an urgent need to study the epidemiology of burnout syndrome and determine the ways of social prevention of its formation in nurses. The contribution of the study cannot be underestimated since it explores novel intervention approaches for the outlined issues and provides the data in a highly reliable and valid manner, which means that the findings are accurate and consistent.
Delaney, M. C. (2018). Caring for the caregivers: Evaluation of the effect of an eight-week pilot mindful self-compassion (MSC) training program on nurses’ compassion fatigue and resilience. PLOS One, 13(11), 1-20.
Gitomer, D. H., Martínez, J. F., Battey, D., & Hyland, N. E. (2021). Assessing the assessment: Evidence of reliability and validity in the edTPA. American Educational Research Journal, 58(1), 3–31.