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Acceptability and Effectiveness of a Long-Term Educational Intervention to Reduce Physicians' Stress-Related Conditions

Amutio, Alberto PhD; Martínez-Taboada, Cristina PhD; Delgado, Luis Carlos PhD; Hermosilla, Daniel PhD; Mozaz, María Jesus PhD

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: October 2015 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 255–260
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000002
Original Research

Introduction: This study aimed to test the acceptability and effectiveness of a two-phase mindfulness-based stress reduction program (8-week initial treatment plus a 10-month maintenance phase) in alleviating work stress-related symptoms (i.e., burnout, heart rate [HR], and blood pressure [BP]) in a sample of 42 physicians.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial and a simple pre-post design were used, respectively, for each of the two phases of the study. Outcome measures included the Five Facets of Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Maslach Burnout Questionnaire. HR and BP measures were also obtained in the experimental group by means of a digital monitor.

Results: After the initial 8 weeks of treatment, significant improvements for the experimental group in mindfulness levels and reductions in emotional exhaustion, HR, and BP were obtained. Effect sizes (Cohen d) significantly increased over the 10-month maintenance period, especially for mindfulness and systolic BP. Acceptance was notably high (low attrition rate and high compliance with program activities).

Discussion: Outcomes are significant in terms of practical consequences for reducing and controlling risks of developing burnout and cardiovascular disease in this population and enhancing well-being in life.

Dr. Amutio: Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of the Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain. Dr. Martínez-Taboada: Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of the Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain. Dr. Delgado: Department of Psychology and Sociology, University of Zaragoza-Unizar, Spain. Dr. Hermosilla: Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of the Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain. Dr. Mozaz: Department of Basic Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain.

Correspondence: Alberto Amutio, PhD, Department of Social Psychology and Methodology of the Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Avda Tolosa, 70, Donostia-San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa 20018, Spain; e-mail: alberto.amutio@ehu.eus.

Disclosures: The authors report the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) provided funding for the materials and travel expenses. The Official Medical College of Biscay in Spain provided the physical setting to conduct the sessions. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received October 09, 2015

Accepted October 09, 2015

© 2015 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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