Mindfulness intervention for foundation year doctors: a feasibility study
Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and burnout in medical students and healthcare professionals. This is a quality improvement study which assessed the feasibility of conducting a full-scale evaluation of a mindfulness intervention among UK foundation doctors to reduce stress and burnout. This is an uncontrolled before and after study taking place in a single university teaching hospital. The RE-AIM framework which comprises of five dimensions including Reach, Adoption, Effectiveness,
... mplementation, and Maintenance was used to guide this assessment. The intervention was a 6-week 'Mindfulness in the Workplace' course. The primary measure was change in self-reported levels of stress immediately before and after the course. Additional measures explored the subjective experiences of participating doctors through the use of questionnaires handed out before and after the course. All 20 places on the course were filled from the population of 108 foundation doctors at the trust with an equal number of foundation year 1 (n = 10) and foundation year 2 (n = 10) doctors. Sixteen participants (80%) attended one or more sessions. The median baseline stress score of the participants was 6.5 (range = 2 to 9). The median post-course stress score was 5.0 (range = 2 to 8). The Mann-Witney test indicated that the stress levels of participants were significantly lower at the end of the course compared to baseline, U = 74.50, p = .04. Additional measures suggested that the intervention may be associated with some other potential promising benefits for doctors including greater wellbeing, improved working life, and more satisfactory relationships with patients. Implementation of this intervention requires further work at the institutional level because only 35% of participants completed the full intervention, the main barrier being work commitments. This is the first programme of research to evaluate the feasibility of trialling and implementing a modified 'Mindfulness in the Workplace' intervention for foundation junior doctors in the UK. Based on the findings from this study, we conclude that this intervention is promising but further modifications are required such as the use of validated outcome measures and improving delivery aspects before this intervention programme is trialled among foundation doctors in the UK.