SAEM Wellness Consensus Conference
Objective: To determine whether a brief mindfulness intervention, a program that uses mindfulness meditation and practices, can decrease physician burnout in the setting of an emergency medicine residency program.<
Methods: We enrolled 42 subjects from a 4-year emergency medicine residency program. Subjects were assessed at baseline using a Maslach Burnout Inventory Score (MBIS) and satisfaction with medicine scale. Subjects participated in a 1 hour group mindfulness based stress reduction session and subsequently were recommended to participate in self initiated 10 minute daily meditation sessions for 4 weeks. The subjects were assessed using the Maslach Burnout Inventory additionally at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks. Primary outcome was the change in MBIS from baseline at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Secondary outcomes were frequency of mindfulness use among residents and satisfaction.
Results: There was a 4.1% (12.4 to 12.91, p<0.001), improvement in mean satisfaction with medicine from baseline through 12 weeks. There is a trend of improving burnout scores with a 13% decrease in the group’s mean emotional exhaustion (11.12 to 9.61, p= 0.69) and an 11.4% decrease (7.71 to 6.83, p = 0.38) in mean depersonalization. The majority of the subjects only participated in the initial group mindfulness session, however 31% (n=13) participated in the daily guided sessions throughout the 12 week period and 29% (n=12) utilized a guided session just prior to a clinical shift in the ED at least once a week for 12 weeks. The subjects were more satisfied with the group sessions (57%, n= 24) than with the self guided brief interventions (43%, n=18). The majority of subjects would recommend mindfulness practices to other healthcare providers (62%, n=26).
Conclusion: This pilot study suggests brief mindfulness intervention may improve physician’s satisfaction with medicine and decrease the level of burnout. The optimal duration of mindfulness intervention is unknown. A trend showing improvement in burnout and satisfaction scores were shown in our study with the majority of subjects participating in a single group session. The majority of the subjects were satisfied and would recommend this intervention to other physicians. Brief mindfulness intervention may provide a novel solution to improving provider wellness and decreasing the level of burnout experienced by physicians.