Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Stress in Healthcare Professionals

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Working in medical profession is stressful, and stress can affect performance, indirectly affecting patient care. Mindfulness has shown to decrease stress, which may improve patient care. At the East Tennessee State University Family Physicians of Bristol, there are no resources for learning mindfulness, so our goal was to educate all the medical professionals in our practice to learn mindfulness and evaluate the effect on their stress levels. First, a stress survey (Perceived Stress Scale) was administered to clinic providers. We presented instruction to clinic providers how to engage in mindfulness meditation. The technique of mindfulness meditation was taught by an expert through an audio clip. Six weeks after implementing the mindfulness meditation program, the Perceived Stress Scale was administered to the providers again to determine if their stress level had been reduced. Statistical analysis consisted of a t test. Higher scores on the Perceived Stress Scale indicate higher levels of experienced stress. The mean score in the pre-meditation condition was 16.71, and the mean score for the post-meditation condition was 12.62. The t test indicated that this difference was statistically significant, t(1,32)=2.14, p<05. The results of this study demonstrate that teaching healthcare providers skills regarding mindfulness meditation can significantly reduce their feelings of stress in the workplace. Future research should focus on examining if reducing stress has a measurable effect on patient outcomes.


Johnson City, TN

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