Factorial Structure of the ProQOL—Systematic Meta-analysis and Integration of 27 International Factor Analysis Studies

Jason T. Hotchkiss*, Ming Yu Claudia Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study offered a systematic meta-analysis of 27 international factor analysis studies (combined n = 12,697) that scrutinized the psychometric structure of the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) measure. The aim of this instrument study was to explore the factorial structure of the ProQOL in varied settings, cultures, and languages; assess the nature of the relationship between the factors; and compare it to the original design. This meta-analysis provides the foundation for validation of a new brief measure of ProQOL using this study’s data. The inclusion criteria were as follows: published between 2008 and 2021 in a peer-reviewed journal, helping professionals, report factor analysis, use all 30 items of the ProQOL version 4 or 5. This meta-analysis found that compassion satisfaction (CS) is a reliable and valid construct. The elevated mean inter-factor correlation (r = −.68, p <.01) between CS and Burnout (BO) indicates the factors are not independent. The culprits are five reversed-scored items that did not load on the BO factor yet cross-loaded on CS in nearly all validation studies. Likewise, Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) Items 2, 5, and 29 frequently saw no loadings on any factors; item 11 frequently cross-loaded on the BO factor. An elevated mean correlation between BO and STS (r =.64, p <.01) evinced that their relationship within the 30-item ProQOL is also too closely related. Contrarily, between CS and STS (r = −.34, p <.01), the relationship was moderate and revealed independence. This meta-analysis found that the Secondary Traumatic Stress and Burnout scales need revision. There were significant loading problems with the nine items above. Researchers are encouraged to explore more parsimonious and valid measures of the ProQOL in their caring context, language, and cultural setting using these intercultural findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Psychology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Construct validity
  • Discriminate validity
  • Factor structure
  • Professional quality of life
  • ProQOL meta-analysis


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