Krasner, M.S.; Epstein, R.M; Beckman, H.; Suchman, A.L., Benjamin Chapman, B., Christopher J. Mooney, C.J, Quill, T.E. (2009) , JAMA. 302:12, 1284-1293. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1384
“Participation in a mindful communication program was associated with short-term and sustained improvements in well-being and attitudes associated with patient-centered care. Burnout may be related to lack of a sense of control and loss of meaning. In an investigation of internists, the capacity of “being present” with their patients correlated more strongly with finding meaning in their work than diagnostic and therapeutic triumphs. This quality of being present for the physicians included an understanding of their patients as not merely objects of care but as unique and fellow humans and an awareness of the patients’ (and their own) emotions, often brought out during challenging clinical encounters.One proposed approach to addressing loss of meaning and lack of control in practice life is developing greater mindfulness—the quality of being fully present and attentive in the moment during everyday activities. This study used a continuing medical education (CME) course to improve physician well-being. The program aimed to enhance the physician-patient relationship through reflective practices that help the practitioner explore the domains of control and meaning in the clinical encounter. We hypothesized that intensive training in attention, awareness, and communication skills would increase physician well-being, reduce psychological distress and burnout, and promote positive changes in physicians’ capacity to relate to patients as indicated by increased empathy and patient-centered orientation to care.”
Beckman, H.B., Wendland, M., Mooney, C., Krasner, M.S., Quill, T.E., Suchman, A.L., and Epstein, R.M. (2012) , Academic Medicine, 87: 6, 1-5. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318253d3b2
The purpose of this research was to understand what aspects of a successful continuing education program in mindful communication contributed to physicians’ well-being and the care they provide. In 2008, the authors conducted in- depth, semistructured interviews with primary care physicians who had recently completed a 52-hour mindful communication program demonstrated to reduce psychological distress and burnout while improving empathy. Interviews with a random sample of 20 of the 46 physicians in the Rochester, New York, area who attended at least four of eight weekly sessions and four of eight monthly sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed qualitatively. The authors identified salient themes from the interviews.
Participants reported three main themes: (1) sharing personal experiences from medical practice with colleagues reduced professional isolation, (2) mindfulness skills improved the participants’ ability to be attentive and listen deeply to patients’ concerns, respond to patients more effectively, and develop adaptive reserve, and (3) developing greater self-awareness was positive and transformative, yet participants struggled to give themselves permission to attend to their own personal growth.
Conclusions: Interventions to improve the quality of primary care practice and practitioner well-being should promote a sense of community, specific mindfulness skills, and permission and time devoted to personal growth.
A Mindfulness course decreases burnout and improves well-being among healthcare providers,
Goodman, M.J., Schorling, J.B., International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, Vol. 43:2, January 2012, 119-128
Conclusion: A continuing education course based on Mindfulness-based stress reduction was associated with significant improvements in burnout scores and mental well-being for a broad range of healthcare providers.