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They Care for Others, But What About Themselves? Understanding Self-Care Among DSPs and Its Relationship to Professional Quality of Life

Journal Article Expanding Access & Cultural Competence
June 1, 2020

Direct support professionals (DSPs) provide daily support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). DSPs often experience high levels of stress and burnout that can result in turnover and vacant positions. This study explores self-care and resilience, and their relationship with professional quality of life (i.e., satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress) among DSPs.

Key Takeaways

Self-care is the practice of behaviors that promote well-being, counter work-related stress, and foster resilience.
Findings show that DSPs engage in self-care across physical, emotional, relational, and other domains.
An active approach to fostering self-care among DSPs may help promote their longevity and retention

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