Effects of mindfulness training on perceived stress, self-compassion, and self-reflection of primary care physicians: a mixed-methods study

Herman van Wietmarschen, Bram Tjaden, Marja van Vliet, Marieke C.E. Battjes-Fries, Miek C. Jong. 2018. Effects of mindfulness training on perceived stress, self-compassion, and self-reflection of primary care physicians: a mixed-methods study. BJGP Open. 27 Nov 2018.
Soort document: Journal Artikel
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Taal van het document: Engels
Abstract / summary in English:

Background
"Primary care physicians are subjected to a high workload, which can lead to stress and a high incidence of burnout. A mindfulness training course was developed and implemented for primary care physicians to better cope with stress and improve job functioning.

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Aim
"To gain insight into the effects of the mindfulness training on perceived stress, self-compassion, and self-reflection of primary care physicians.

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Design & setting
"A pragmatic mixed-methods pre–post design in which physicians received 8 weeks of mindfulness training.

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Method
"Participants completed validated questionnaires on perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale [PSS]), self-compassion (Self-Compassion Scale [SCS]), and self-reflection (Groningen Reflection Ability Scale [GRAS]) before the training, directly after, and 6 months later. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants after the training and a content analysis was performed to gain in depth understanding of experiences.

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Results
"A total of 54 physicians participated in the study. PSS was reduced (mean difference [MD] -4.5, P<0.001), SCS improved (MD = 0.5, P<0.001), and GRAS improved (MD = 3.3, P<0.001), directly after the 8-week training compared with before training. Six months later, PSS was still reduced (MD = -2.9, P = 0.025) and SCS improved (MD = 0.7, P<0.001). GRAS did not remain significant (MD = 2.5, P = 0.120). Qualitative analysis revealed four themes: being more aware of their own feelings and thoughts; being better able to accept situations; experiencing more peacefulness; and having more openness to the self and others.

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Conclusion
"Mindfulness training might be an effective approach for improving stress resilience, self-compassion, and self-reflection in primary care physicians

Keywords in English: primary health care, general practice, general practitioners, mindfulness, stress, resilience