Determining the feasibility and effectiveness of brief online mindfulness training for rural medical students: a pilot study
We sought to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a mindfulness training program, delivered online to medical students at a Rural Clinical School. Methods An 8-week online training program was delivered to penultimate-year medical students at an Australian Rural Clinical School during 2016. Using a mixed methods approach, we measured the frequency and duration of participants' mindfulness meditation practice, and assessed changes in their perceived stress, self-compassion and
... assion and compassion levels, as well as personal and professional attitudes and behaviours. Results 47 participants were recruited to the study. 50% of participants were practising mindfulness meditation at least weekly by the end of the 8-week program, and 32% reported practising at least weekly 4 months following completion of the intervention. There was a statistically significant reduction in participants' perceived stress levels and a significant increase in self-compassion at 4month follow-up. Participants reported insights about the personal and professional impact of mindfulness meditation training as well as barriers to practice. Conclusions The results provide preliminary evidence that online training in mindfulness meditation can be associated with reduced stress and increased self-compassion in rural medical students. More rigorous research is required to establish concrete measures of feasibility of a mindfulness meditation program.