The inability to cope with the enormous stress of medical education
may result in personal and professional consequences. Research
conducted with undergraduate medical students at St Andrews and
Manchester suggested that one in four were categorised as ‘burned out.’
Further research suggests self-care in medical education as
central to the ability to deliver patient centred care. The purpose of
this study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy
of a short term mindfulness-based intervention and its effect on
mental well-being, self-efficacy and burnout in a sample of first
and second year undergraduate medical students from Manchester
Year 1 and 2 medical students were invited to 5 sessions of
Mindfulness. Measures taken pre and post the mindfulness course
included the: Maslach Burnout Inventory Student Survey (MBI-SS) SS), Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS)
and General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE). Data was analysed using
Wilcoxen signed rank test. Focus group run 1 month post course
were analysed using framework analysis.
The mindfulness course was led by an experienced facilitator. It
consisted of five weekly group sessions, each lasting one hour.
The training included guided meditations and mindfulness skills
teaching, with handouts covering key mindfulness concepts
33 participants, 22 completed both sets of measures:
• MBI-SS: Pre-mindfulness 24% ‘burnt-out’ post-mindfulness
• WEMWBS: Mental Well-being increased (z = -3.554, p =
<.001, r = 0.55).
• GSE: Self-efficacy increased (z = -2.274, p = < .023, r = 0.34)
Themes from the focus group (n=7):
• Awareness of thoughts on behaviour
• The (un)acceptance of stress
• Feeling ‘OK’
Mindfulness positively impacted the student’s wellbeing and was
experienced positively. Further study is needed to consider the
maintenance of skills and the integration with the curriculum.
Establishing wellbeing skills and habits early in a medical students
degree is imperative.