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J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Dec;32(12):1309-1314. doi: 10.1007/s11606-017-4171-2. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

The Impact of a Required Longitudinal Stress Management and Resilience Training Course for First-Year Medical Students.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. dyrbye.liselotte@mayo.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
3
Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA.
4
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although psychological distress is common among medical students, little remains known about effective interventions. One promising individual-focused approach is mindfulness-based stress management interventions; however, studies to date have relied on volunteers.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a required longitudinal stress management and resilience course improves well-being among first-year medical students.

DESIGN:

A quasi-experimental study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Two cohorts of medical students who participated in a required stress management and resilience course and completed pre and post questionnaires.

MAIN MEASURES:

Validated instruments were used to examine the effects on burnout, quality of life (QOL), stress, resilience, happiness, and empathy. Paired analysis was conducted to explore changes from baseline.

KEY RESULTS:

On paired analysis of individual students, mean mental QOL and happiness declined (mental QOL: -5.63 [P < 0.001] and -5.15 [P = 0.015] and happiness: -0.31 [P = 0.02] and -0.4 [P = 0.01], cohorts 1 and 2, respectively) over the course of the year. Similarly, stress scores increased by 4.22 (P < 0.0001) and 3.62 (P = 0.03) in cohorts 1 and 2, respectively. Cognitive and emotive empathy declined in both cohorts but was only statistically significant for cohort 1 (-1.64 and -2.07, P < 0.01). No statistically significant differences in burnout or resilience were seen.

CONCLUSIONS:

The required longitudinal mindfulness-based stress management course tested in first-year medical students did not lead to measurable improvements in medical student well-being or empathy. These findings contrast with those of studies using volunteer medical students or physicians, which suggested a reduction in burnout and stress using a similar curriculum. Medical schools should consider offering a variety of effective options so that students can select activities they want to engage in.

PMID:
28861707
PMCID:
PMC5698225
DOI:
10.1007/s11606-017-4171-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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