A 5-year follow-up study of a randomised controlled trial of the effects of mindfulness practice on medical professionals stress
Wellbeing at Work Conference
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Source ID: shanti-sources-64421
Abstract: BackgroundStress and psychological distress are common in doctors and have adverse effects for both doctors and patients. Objective This study aimed to investigate the long-term (5-year) effects of mindfulness practice on medical practitioners’ stress. Methods A 5-year follow-up study using quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Outcome measures of the original trial, Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS), were repeated and a questionnaire/interview on doctors’ health and well-being was undertaken. Results Most participants (88%) continue to use mindfulness or relaxation exercises. Mean outcome scores (and standard deviations) at 5 year follow up revealed; PSS 13.8 (5.2) (maximal score of 40), anxiety subscale of DASS 4.4 (4.9) (maximal score of 42 and stress subscale of DASS 10.9 (7.3) (maximal score of 42). The 5 year follow up group mean PSS and DASS outcomes scores were all lower than post intervention scores from the original RCT, however differences were not statistically significant. Participants expressed concerns with the overall state of doctors’ health/wellbeing. Conclusion Mindfulness for stress management is sustainable and may be beneficial for long term use in doctors.