An 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course for Ob/Gyn Residents: A Pilot Study

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BACKGROUND:Studies have linked improved physician well-being with better patient outcomes. Despite the documentation of growing job dissatisfaction, burnout, and depression among OBGYN residents, few interventions have been studied. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been shown to significantly improve personal well-being and job satisfaction in primary care specialties, but has not been investigated in obstetrics and gynecology.METHODS:An 8-week MBSR course specifically designed for medical professionals was created and led by a certified Mindfulness Teacher. Participants completed a pre- and postintervention survey measuring burnout, anxiety, mindfulness, resilience, stress, and depression by validated scales. McNemar's test was used to assess changes in outcome measures.RESULTS:All 21 of the eligible residents participated in four or more of the eight weekly 1-hour lectures. At the 2-month postintervention survey, participants demonstrated statistically significant improvements in stress, anxiety, and focus. Residents showed no statistical improvement in depression or burnout scores.DISCUSSION:Our pilot study demonstrated that an 8-week MBSR course was associated with improvements in some but not all measured outcomes of burnout, mindfulness, resilience, stress, and depression. We are currently piloting a reformatted course with shortened but more frequent programs to support and improve the well-being of our residents.

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