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Acceptability and perceived effectiveness of a single-session mindfulness intervention for medical residents

Dana Carsley, Isabel Sadowski, Nancy Heath, Richard Montoro, Stella Miller


Introduction: Medical residents report high levels of stress, with many work-related demands contributing to their experience of heightened stress. Mindfulness training has been suggested as a beneficial strategy for stress management with residents; however, many mindfulness programs are time-consuming, and compliance with conventional mindfulness training programs becomes challenging given the intense, competing time commitments of residency. The present study sought to evaluate the acceptability and perceived effectiveness of a single-session, mindfulness-based stress management workshop for medical residents.

Methods: Residents (n = 142) from family medicine, internal medicine and general surgical residency programs participated in a 1.5-hour mindfulness workshop in 2016 and completed: a measure of workshop satisfaction immediately post-workshop; a measure of adherence to suggested strategies 4–6 weeks post-workshop; and measures of stress, mindfulness and positive and negative affect immediately post-workshop and 4–6 weeks post-workshop.

Results: Results revealed high levels of satisfaction with the workshop. Participants who used the recommended strategies over the 4 to 6-week post-workshop period reported significant increases in mindfulness and significant decreases in stress at follow-up.

Conclusions: Results suggest single-session mindfulness training can be beneficial for residents who use the strategies effectively; however, ensuring strategy use following training is challenging. Future research is needed to investigate facilitators and barriers to strategy use.


medical residents; mindfulness; stress management; medical education; resilience

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