A Pragmatic Introduction of Mindfulness in a Continuing Education Setting: Exploring Personal Experience, Bridging to Professional Practice

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Abstract

Context:

Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Professional Education (CME/CPE) provide a context through which to introduce practicing Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) to emerging mind/body approaches.

Objective:

To introduce mindfulness to practicing HCPs for application in their practice through an experiential CME/CPE session.

Design:

This descriptive study included surveys administered in the context of a CME/CPE session at professional meetings, as well as a three-month follow-up survey.

Setting:

The mindfulness session was administered at 5 state-wide professional CME/CPE meetings throughout Ohio.

Participants:

Participants practicing dieticians, nurses, psychologists, and smoking cessation educators, among others. Intervention: A brief experiential introduction to mindfulness and the potential application within healthcare.

Measures:

These included participant's prior awareness and use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) techniques, and subsequent likelihood of investigating these modalities further for personal and professional use.

Results:

64.4% of HCPs had used CAM for personal use and 49.3% had used CAM in their clinical practice, while 74.8% of HCPs had been asked by patients about CAM and 84.3% of the HCPs perceived a need for more education on CAM.94.79% of respondents reported likeliness to investigate mindfulness for personal use and 92.58% for professional use.

Conclusion:

A brief mindfulness intervention for HCPs utilizing a CME/CPE mechanism is a feasible and effective way to introduce HCPs to a mind/body therapy such as mindfulness. CME/CPE instruction ensures that the information provided is in line with evidenced based practice and an experiential component of the instruction demonstrates for the HCP an appropriate use of CAM with patients.

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