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      Mindfulness based stress reduction for medical students: optimising student satisfaction and engagement

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          Abstract

          Background

          Medical practitioners and students are at increased risk of a number of personal and psychological problems. Stress and anxiety due to work-load and study requirements are common and self-care methods are important in maintaining well-being. The current study examines perceptions of and satisfaction ratings with a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) programme for 1 st year (compulsory) and 2 nd year (optional) Graduate Entry Medical School students.

          Methods

          A mixed method pre and post study of Year 1 ( n = 140) and Year 2 ( n = 88) medical students completing a 7 week MBSR course compared student satisfaction ratings. Thematic analysis of feedback from the students on their perception of the course was also carried out.

          Results

          Year 1 students (compulsory course) were less satisfied with content and learning outcomes than Year 2 students (optional course) ( p < .0005). Thematic analysis of year 1 student feedback identified themes including great concept, poorly executed; and less discussion, more practice. Year 2 themes included session environment and satisfaction with tutors.

          Conclusions

          The MBSR course was associated with high levels of satisfaction and positive feedback when delivered on an optional basis. Catering for the individual needs of the participant and promoting a safe environment are core elements of a successful self-care programme.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0728-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Association of an educational program in mindful communication with burnout, empathy, and attitudes among primary care physicians.

          Primary care physicians report high levels of distress, which is linked to burnout, attrition, and poorer quality of care. Programs to reduce burnout before it results in impairment are rare; data on these programs are scarce. To determine whether an intensive educational program in mindfulness, communication, and self-awareness is associated with improvement in primary care physicians' well-being, psychological distress, burnout, and capacity for relating to patients. Before-and-after study of 70 primary care physicians in Rochester, New York, in a continuing medical education (CME) course in 2007-2008. The course included mindfulness meditation, self-awareness exercises, narratives about meaningful clinical experiences, appreciative interviews, didactic material, and discussion. An 8-week intensive phase (2.5 h/wk, 7-hour retreat) was followed by a 10-month maintenance phase (2.5 h/mo). Mindfulness (2 subscales), burnout (3 subscales), empathy (3 subscales), psychosocial orientation, personality (5 factors), and mood (6 subscales) measured at baseline and at 2, 12, and 15 months. Over the course of the program and follow-up, participants demonstrated improvements in mindfulness (raw score, 45.2 to 54.1; raw score change [Delta], 8.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.0 to 10.8); burnout (emotional exhaustion, 26.8 to 20.0; Delta = -6.8; 95% CI, -4.8 to -8.8; depersonalization, 8.4 to 5.9; Delta = -2.5; 95% CI, -1.4 to -3.6; and personal accomplishment, 40.2 to 42.6; Delta = 2.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.6); empathy (116.6 to 121.2; Delta = 4.6; 95% CI, 2.2 to 7.0); physician belief scale (76.7 to 72.6; Delta = -4.1; 95% CI, -1.8 to -6.4); total mood disturbance (33.2 to 16.1; Delta = -17.1; 95% CI, -11 to -23.2), and personality (conscientiousness, 6.5 to 6.8; Delta = 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1 to 5 and emotional stability, 6.1 to 6.6; Delta = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3 to 0.7). Improvements in mindfulness were correlated with improvements in total mood disturbance (r = -0.39, P < .001), perspective taking subscale of physician empathy (r = 0.31, P < .001), burnout (emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment subscales, r = -0.32 and 0.33, respectively; P < .001), and personality factors (conscientiousness and emotional stability, r = 0.29 and 0.25, respectively; P < .001). Participation in a mindful communication program was associated with short-term and sustained improvements in well-being and attitudes associated with patient-centered care. Because before-and-after designs limit inferences about intervention effects, these findings warrant randomized trials involving a variety of practicing physicians.
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            Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

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              Mindfulness-based stress reduction lowers psychological distress in medical students.

              Medical students confront significant academic, psychosocial, and existential stressors throughout their training. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an educational intervention designed to improve coping skills and reduce emotional distress. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the MBSR intervention in a prospective, nonrandomized, cohort-controlled study. Second-year students (n = 140) elected to participate in a 10-week MBSR seminar. Controls (n = 162) participated in a didactic seminar on complementary medicine. Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered preintervention and postintervention. Baseline total mood disturbance (TMD) was greater in the MBSR group compared with controls (38.7 +/- 33.3 vs. 28.0 +/- 31.2; p < .01). Despite this initial difference, the MBSR group scored significantly lower in TMD at the completion of the intervention period (31.8 +/- 33.8 vs. 38.6 +/- 32.8; p < .05). Significant effects were also observed on Tension-Anxiety, Confusion-Bewilderment, Fatigue-Inertia, and Vigor-Activity subscales. MBSR may be an effective stress management intervention for medical students.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                declan.aherne@ul.ie
                farrank@tcd.ie
                louise.hickey@ul.ie
                emma.hickey@ul.ie
                lisa.mcgrath@ul.ie
                061-234850 , deirdre.mcgrath@ul.ie
                Journal
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Medical Education
                BioMed Central (London )
                1472-6920
                18 August 2016
                18 August 2016
                2016
                : 16
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Counselling Department, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
                [2 ]Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland
                [3 ]Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
                Article
                728
                10.1186/s12909-016-0728-8
                4989331
                27535243
                9e7769ad-2969-47ff-8212-afdaaf6f769a
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                © The Author(s) 2016

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