18 August 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.