Geoffrion S, Lamothe J, Merizot J, Guay S. (2019). Construct Validity of the French Version of the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) Measurement Instrument among a Sample of Child Protection Workers. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(4), 266-276.
The Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) scale is one of the most widely used measures of compassion satisfaction and fatigue despite there being little publicly available evidence to support its validity. This study, conducted among a sample of 310 child protection workers, assessed the construct validity of this measure using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and bifactor modeling. The CFA failed to confirm the adequacy of the three-factor structure proposed by Stamm (2010). In response, a bifactor model postulating a factor structure with a general factor in addition to independent factors (compassion satisfaction, job burnout, and secondary traumatic stress) was proposed, highlighting the unidimensionality of the ProQOL while allowing for each subscale to be used separately. Moreover, this bifactor model of the ProQOL was moderately correlated with the Posttraumatic Disorder Checklist, r = -.427, p < .001, and strongly correlated with scales of well-being at work, r = .694, p < .001, and psychological distress at work, r = -.666, p < .001, thus supporting the ProQOL’s convergent validity. No associations were found between the ProQOL and the Life Event Checklist, which supports the ProQOL’s discriminant validity. Overall, the results indicated that compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue represent higher and lower levels of the same construct rather than two different constructs. Researchers and clinicians could therefore compute a single score to rate professionals’ individual levels of professional quality of life.