Reduce Burnout in Caregivers for the Elderly with Meditation and Yoga

Reduce Burnout in Caregivers for the Elderly with Meditation and Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Self-care is very important for preventing caregiver burnout and senior stress, and two of the most effective self-care habits you can start are meditation and yoga.” – Harry Cline

 

There is a tremendous demand for caregiving. It is estimated that over 65 million (29% of the adult population) in the US provides care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, averaging 20 hours per week spent caring for their loved ones. This caregiving comes at a cost exacting a tremendous toll on caregivers’ health and well-being. Caregiving has been associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety as well as higher use of psychoactive medications, poorer self-reported physical health, compromised immune function, and increased mortality. Mindfulness practice for caregivers has been shown to help them cope with the physical and psychological demands of caregiving.

 

In today’s Research News article “The effects of yoga and mindful meditation on elderly care worker’s burnout: a CONSORT-compliant randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8753257/ ) Kukihara and colleagues recruited adult caregivers for the elderly and randomly assigned them to receive either no-treatment, or 6 weekly 60-minute programs of either yoga or mindful meditation. They were measured before and after treatment for burnout and provided saliva samples for assay for the stress marker α-amylase.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment control group both the yoga and meditation groups had significant reductions in burnout, particularly emotional exhaustion, and the salivary stress marker α-amylase. There were no significant differences in the benefits of the yoga or the mindful meditation programs.

 

So, practice yoga or meditation to reduce burnout and stress in caregivers for the elderly.

 

Caregiving for a senior is a wonderful thing to do, but it comes with its difficulties and stresses. Yoga and meditation are two practices that can help seniors and their caregivers lead happier and healthier lives.” – Beverly Nelson

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kukihara, H., Ando, M., & Yamawaki, N. (2022). The effects of yoga and mindful meditation on elderly care worker’s burnout: a CONSORT-compliant randomized controlled trial. Journal of rural medicine : JRM, 17(1), 14–20. https://doi.org/10.2185/jrm.2021-021

 

Abstract

Objectives: This study aims to investigate the effects of mindful meditation and yoga on reducing burnout and stress in care workers who assist elderly individuals. Knowing how to reduce burnout is important because that of care workers is associated with the quality of client care, worker productivity, and job turnover.

Patients and Methods: The participants included 44 care workers who worked for elderly care facilities in rural Fukuoka. They were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: control, yoga, or mindfulness. In the yoga intervention group, a certified yoga instructor taught a 60-minute yoga session each week for six weeks. In the mindfulness group, an experienced medical doctor instructed a mindful meditation program for the same length. Participants were asked to complete the Japanese Burnout Scale (JBS), and the research team collected the level of α-amylase in saliva using NIPRO: T-110-N pre- and post-interventions.

Results: MANOVA was performed with each intervention (control, yoga, mindfulness) as the independent variable on the three subscales of the JBS (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal achievement) and a biomarker of stress level (α-amylase). The results indicated a significant main effect of interventions, and a follow-up ANOVA showed a significant effect of interventions on emotional exhaustion and personal achievement.

Conclusion: The results indicate that practicing mindful meditation or yoga for 60 minutes once a week for six weeks can reduce care workers’ burnout. This study was notable because the biomarker of stress also improved. It is strongly recommended and encouraged that institutions caring for the elderly population provide mindful meditation or yoga intervention to reduce burnout, which benefits not only care workers but also their clients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8753257/

 

Reduce Teacher Stress with Mindfulness

Reduce Teacher Stress with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Daily mindfulness practice has been scientifically proven to reduce teacher stress and burnout, in turn improving their effectiveness and engagement with their students.” – InnerExplorer

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This often produces burnout; fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, and professional inefficacy. Teachers experience burnout at high rates. Roughly a half a million teachers out of a workforce of three million, leave the profession each year and the rate is almost double in poor schools compared to affluent schools. Indeed, nearly half of new teachers leave in their first five years.

 

Mindfulness techniques are gaining increasing attention for the treatment of the symptoms of stress and burnout. They have been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to stress and for treating and preventing burnout in a number of work environments including schools.

 

In today’s Research News article “The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction for school teachers: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8975540/ ) Bonde and colleagues recruited school teachers and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control condition or to receive 8 weekly 2.5 hour sessions of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) consisting of training in meditation, yoga, and body scan, with group discussion, and homework. They were measured before and after training and 3 months later for perceived stress, anxiety, depression, well-being, resilience, mindfulness, and resting state.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list control group, the teachers who received Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) had significantly lower levels of perceived stress, discontinuity of mind, and bodily awareness that were maintained 3 months later. Although there were no direct measures of burnout, the reductions in stress produced by MBSR would suggest that the training reduced the likelihood of burnout in school teachers.

 

Mindfulness training reduces stress in school teachers.

 

Research shows that teachers experience stress as a result of multiple factors. One thing that can help educators work through this stress, reduce teacher burnout, improve self-efficacy, and increase job satisfaction is meditation and mindfulness.” – April Netz

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Bonde, E. H., Fjorback, L. O., Frydenberg, M., & Juul, L. (2022). The effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction for school teachers: a cluster-randomized controlled trial. European journal of public health, 32(2), 246–253. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab223

 

Abstract

Background

Teaching has been found to be one of the most stressful occupations. Hence, current interest in reducing stress and enhancing the well-being of teachers is strong. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is documented to be effective in reducing stress and increasing well-being. This study investigated the effectiveness of delivering MBSR to lower secondary school teachers as a part of a teacher-training programme.

Methods

This study was a nested trial within the parallel cluster-randomized controlled trial, Stress-free Everyday LiFe for Children and Adolescents REsearch (SELFCARE). Schools were recruited from all five geographical regions in Denmark between May 2018 and May 2019. One to three teachers from each school were allowed to participate. At baseline, 110 schools, representing 191 lower secondary school teachers, were cluster-randomized to intervention or a wait-list control group. The intervention group received MBSR during 2019 and the wait-list control group during 2020. Data were collected at baseline and after 3  and 6 months. The primary outcome was measured by Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Data were analyzed using a mixed-effect linear regression model and bootstrapped for cluster effects.

Results

At 3 months, the intervention group statistically significantly reduced their PSS score 1.7 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04–3.3] points more than did the wait-list control group. At 6 months, the intervention group had statistically significantly reduced their mean PSS score 2.1 (95% CI: 0.5–3.8) points more than the wait-list control group.

Conclusion

It is possible to reduce perceived stress among lower secondary school teachers by delivering MBSR as part of a teacher-training programme.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8975540/

 

Improve Neuropsychological Disorders with Yoga

Improve Neuropsychological Disorders with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“yoga might be considered as an effective adjuvant for the patients with various neurological disorders including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, headache, myelopathy, neuropathies.” – A.Mooventhan

 

Mindfulness training and yoga practices have been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals. They have also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. There has accumulated a large amount of research on the effectiveness of yoga practice for the treatment of a variety of physical and mental issues. Hence, it would be useful to summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Therapeutic role of yoga in neuropsychological disorders.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8546763/ ) Nourollahimoghadam and colleagues review and summarize the published research regarding the effectiveness of yoga practice for the treatment of a variety of neuropsychological disorders.

 

They report that the published research found that yoga practice produced significant improvements in physical illnesses including migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s Disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and neuropathy. Yoga practice also produced significant improvements in psychological well-being including anxiety, stress, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, somatoform disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and burnout. They further report that yoga may produce its beneficial effects by altering the chemistry, electrical activity, structures, and connectivity within the brain.

 

Hence Yoga practice appears to have a myriad of positive physical and psychological benefits. The authors, however, point to weaknesses in the research including small sample sizes, short-term follow-up, confounding variables, and lack of appropriate controls. So, more and better controlled studies are needed to verify the benefits of yoga practice. Hence, the present state of knowledge supports the engagement in yoga practice to advance the physical and mental well-being of both ill and healthy individuals.

 

So, improve neuropsychological disorders with yoga.

 

Yoga can be a helpful practice of self-care for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological conditions (such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Lyme’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease).” – Mary Hilliker

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Nourollahimoghadam, E., Gorji, S., Gorji, A., & Khaleghi Ghadiri, M. (2021). Therapeutic role of yoga in neuropsychological disorders. World journal of psychiatry, 11(10), 754–773. https://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v11.i10.754

 

Abstract

Yoga is considered a widely-used approach for health conservation and can be adopted as a treatment modality for a plethora of medical conditions, including neurological and psychological disorders. Hence, we reviewed relevant articles entailing various neurological and psychological disorders and gathered data on how yoga exerts positive impacts on patients with a diverse range of disorders, including its modulatory effects on brain bioelectrical activities, neurotransmitters, and synaptic plasticity. The role of yoga practice as an element of the treatment of several neuropsychological diseases was evaluated based on these findings.

Core Tip: A multitude of beneficial effects of yoga practice and the underlying mechanisms of action have been reported and point out its role as an influential element in the integrative therapy of various neuropsychological disorders. In the planning of further investigations, studies should be designed to achieve more accuracy and precision in the heterogeneous field of yoga practices and potential fields of application.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8546763/

 

Reduce Burnout and Increase Resilience in Healthcare Workers with Mindfulness

Reduce Burnout and Increase Resilience in Healthcare Workers with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness practices and perspectives are profoundly beneficial at all levels of healthcare—from the personal to the professional to the patients.” – Mindful

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. In high stress occupations, like healthcare, burnout is all too prevalent. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. It is estimated that over 45% of healthcare workers experience burnout. It not only affects the healthcare providers personally, but also the patients, as it produces a loss of empathy and compassion. Burnout, in fact, it is a threat to the entire healthcare system. Currently, over a third of healthcare workers report that they are looking for a new job. Hence, burnout contributes to the shortage of doctors and nurses.

 

Preventing burnout has to be a priority. Unfortunately, it is beyond the ability of the individual to change the environment to reduce stress and prevent burnout. So, it is important that methods be found to reduce the individual’s responses to stress; to make the individual more resilient when high levels of stress occur. Contemplative practices have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress and improve well-being. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Novel Mindful-Compassion Art-Based Therapy for Reducing Burnout and Promoting Resilience Among Healthcare Workers: Findings From a Waitlist Randomized Control Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.744443/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1765474_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211102_arts_A ) Ho and colleagues recruited frontline healthcare workers and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control condition or to receive 6 weekly 3-hour sessions of Mindful-Compassion Art-based Therapy (MCAT). The treatment included meditation, lectures, and art therapy that was aimed at training “understanding, acceptance, and compassion for self and others to cultivate psychological resilience and shared meaning”. The participants were measured before and after training and 6 weeks later for mindfulness, burnout, resilience, emotion regulation, self-compassion, death attitude, and quality of life. Transcripts of group sharing sessions and artwork produced were also analyzed.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list control group after Mindful-Compassion Art-Based Therapy (MCAT) there were significant increases in emotion regulation, non-reactivity to intrusive thoughts, acceptance of death and significant reduction in mental exhaustion. At the 6-week follow-up, they found that the improvements in emotion regulation and mental exhaustion were maintained and the MCAT group also showed significant increases in mindfulness, self-compassion, interconnectedness to others, and quality of life. Analysis of the group discussions and artwork revealed that the training worked by reducing burnout, building resilience, nurturing compassion, and fostering collegial support among healthcare workers.

 

These results are encouraging and suggest that the mindfulness-based therapy was effective in improving the psychological health and well-being and reducing burnout of healthcare workers. Prior research by others reinforce these findings as it has been shown that mindfulness training produces increases in emotion regulation, self-compassion, interconnectedness, resilience, acceptance of death. and quality of life and reductions in burnout. Hence, the present findings along with previous research suggest that mindfulness training improves the psychological health and well-being of healthcare workers making them more resistant to professional fatigue and burnout. This suggests that mindfulness training should be recommended for frontline healthcare workers.

 

So, reduce burnout and increase resilience in healthcare workers with mindfulness.

 

“mindfulness-based stress reduction was associated with significant improvements in burnout scores and mental well-being for a broad range of healthcare providers.” – Matthew Goodman

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ho AHY, Tan-Ho G, Ngo TA, Ong G, Chong PH, Dignadice D and Potash J (2021) A Novel Mindful-Compassion Art-Based Therapy for Reducing Burnout and Promoting Resilience Among Healthcare Workers: Findings From a Waitlist Randomized Control Trial. Front. Psychol. 12:744443. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.744443

 

Protecting the mental health of healthcare workers is an urgent global public health priority. Healthcare workers, especially those immersed in palliative care, are prone to burnout due to the intense emotions associated with end-of-life caregiving. This study examines the efficacy of a novel, multimodal, and group-based Mindful-Compassion Art-based Therapy (MCAT) that integrates reflective self-awareness with creative emotional expression for protecting healthcare workers’ mental health. A dual-arm open-label waitlist randomized controlled trial was conducted. A total of 56 healthcare workers were recruited from the largest homecare hospice in Singapore and randomized to the immediate-treatment condition of a standardized 6-week, 18-hours MCAT intervention (n=29), or the waitlist-control condition (n=27). Self-administered outcome measures on burnout, resilience, emotional regulation, self-compassion, death attitudes, and quality of life were collected at baseline, post-intervention/second-baseline at 6weeks, and follow-up/post-intervention at 12weeks. Results from mixed model ANOVAs reveal that treatment group participants experienced significant reduction in mental exhaustion, as well as significant improvements in overall emotional regulation, nonreactivity to intrusive thoughts, approach acceptance of death, and afterlife belief as compared to waitlist-control immediately after MCAT completion. Effect sizes of these impacts ranged from medium to large (η2=0.65 to 0.170). Results from one-way ANOVAs further reveal that the treatment gains of reduced mental exhaustion and increased emotional regulation were maintained among treatment group participants at 12-weeks follow-up compared to baseline, with new benefits identified. These include increased ability to observe and describe one’s experiences, elevated overall self-compassion, greater mindful awareness, enhanced common humanity, and better quality of life. Effect sizes of these impacts were large (η2=0.128 to 0.298). These findings reflect the robust effectiveness and positive residual effects of MCAT for reducing burnout, building resilience, nurturing compassion, fostering collegial support, and promoting mental wellness among healthcare workers. The clinical model and applicability of MCAT in larger and more diverse caregiving contexts, such as family dementia care, are discussed.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.744443/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1765474_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211102_arts_A

 

Improve Counselor Self-Efficacy and Reduce Compassion Fatigue with Mindfulness

Improve Counselor Self-Efficacy and Reduce Compassion Fatigue with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness training may be beneficial as a prophylactic for stress and burnout for psychotherapists, counselors, and other mental health care workers.” – Tasha Felton

 

In occupations, like counseling, burnout is all too prevalent. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. It not only affects the counselors personally, but also the patients, as it produces a loss of empathy and compassion. Contemplative practices have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep. Mindfulness is also known to improve self-compassion, understanding one’s own suffering and self-efficacy, one’s belief in their ability to make things better. It is possible that this may be a key to understanding mindfulness’ effects on burnout.

 

In today’s Research News article “Self-Oriented Empathy and Compassion Fatigue: The Serial Mediation of Dispositional Mindfulness and Counselor’s Self-Efficacy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.613908/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1757290_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211021_arts_A ) Zhang and colleagues recruited hotline psychological counselors online and had them complete a questionnaire measuring mindfulness, self-efficacy burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and empathy, including perspective taking, personal distress, fantasy, and empathic concern subscales.

 

They found that the higher the levels of empathy the higher the levels of burnout and secondary traumatic stress and the lower the levels of mindfulness and self-efficacy. The higher the levels of both mindfulness and self-efficacy the lower the levels of burnout and secondary traumatic stress while the higher the levels of mindfulness the higher the levels of self-efficacy. Linear structural modelling revealed that empathy was directly, positively, related to compassion fatigue and also indirectly related by being associated with self-efficacy which was in turn associated with lower compassion fatigue. Finally, empathy was also indirectly related to compassion fatigue by being negatively associated with mindfulness that was positively associated with self-efficacy which was in turn associated with lower compassion fatigue.

 

These findings are correlational. So, causation cannot be definitively established. But the associations are clear. Greater empathy is associated with greater compassion fatigue. In other words, an empathetic counselor is more likely to experience compassion fatigue which leads to burnout and secondary traumatic stress. These effects are mitigated, however, by the counselor’s empathy being associated with greater mindfulness and self-efficacy which work to lower compassion fatigue. This all leads to the suggestion that training in mindfulness may help prevent a counselor losing compassion and burning out. They may help prevent counselor burnout.

 

So, improve counselor self-efficacy and reduce compassion fatigue with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness trains us to think about our thoughts as ‘just thoughts,’” including the thought that tragedies and outrage are part of life or that trying to effect change is hopeless. Part of desensitization and empathy fatigue is that “we become numb and disengaged, lacking in introspection and compassion for others,” Steven Lynn

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zhang L, Ren Z, Jiang G, Hazer-Rau D, Zhao C, Shi C, Lai L and Yan Y (2021) Self-Oriented Empathy and Compassion Fatigue: The Serial Mediation of Dispositional Mindfulness and Counselor’s Self-Efficacy. Front. Psychol. 11:613908. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.613908

 

This study aimed to explore the association between self-oriented empathy and compassion fatigue, and examine the potential mediating roles of dispositional mindfulness and the counselor’s self-efficacy. A total of 712 hotline psychological counselors were recruited from the Mental Health Service Platform at Central China Normal University, Ministry of Education during the outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 2019, then were asked to complete the questionnaires measuring self-oriented empathy, compassion fatigue, dispositional mindfulness, and counselor’s self-efficacy. Structural equation modeling was utilized to analyze the possible associations and explore potential mediations. In addition to reporting confidence intervals (CI), we employed a new method named model-based constrained optimization procedure to test hypotheses of indirect effects. Results showed that self-oriented empathy was positively associated with compassion fatigue. Dispositional mindfulness and counselor’s self-efficacy independently and serially mediated the associations between self-oriented empathy and compassion fatigue. The findings of this study confirmed and complemented the etiological and the multi-factor model of compassion fatigue. Moreover, the results indicate that it is useful and necessary to add some training for increasing counselor’s self-efficacy in mindfulness-based interventions in order to decrease compassion fatigue.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.613908/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1757290_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20211021_arts_A

 

Reduce the Impact of Job Demands and Resources on Social Worker Burnout with Mindfulness

Reduce the Impact of Job Demands and Resources on Social Worker Burnout with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness is shown to help social work students and social workers reduce stress and enhance self-care, compassion and well-being.” – Pearce McCusker

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. In high stress occupations, like social work, burnout is all too prevalent. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. These stressors have been vastly amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic. Examining the causes of burnout, then should be a priority to find ways to improve the psychological health of social workers.

 

Contemplative practices have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep.  Hence, it is reasonable to examine the association of mindfulness with the characteristics of the job and burnout to begin to determine how to improve the well-being of social work professionals.

 

In today’s Research News article “Job Demands, Resources, and Burnout in Social Workers in China: Mediation Effect of Mindfulness.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507647/ ) Huang and colleagues administered an anonymous online survey to social workers in China. They were measured during the Covid-19 pandemic for burnout including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment subscales, job demands, job resources and mindfulness.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness and job resources the lower the levels of burnout and the higher the levels of job demands including workload and emotional demands the higher the levels of burnout. Structural equation modelling revealed that mindfulness partially mediated the associations of job resources and demands on burnout. Job resources were associated with lower burnout directly and also indirectly by being associated with higher mindfulness which was in turn associated with lower burnout. Similarly, job demands were associated with higher burnout directly and also indirectly by being associated with lower mindfulness which was in turn associated with greater burnout.

 

These results are correlative and as such causation cannot be determined. But mindfulness has been shown in past controlled research to produce lower levels of burnout. So, it is likely that the present relationships are the results of mindfulness causing higher resistance to burnout. It is not surprising that the workload and emotional demands of social work tend to produce burnout and that the resources available on the job tend to mitigate burnout. Social work is an extremely stressful occupation with high demands and low resources. So, it is promising that mindfulness may help to prevent the stress from these job characteristics from producing burnout. This suggests that mindfulness training might be incorporated into social work education to help arm the students to better deal with the job and withstand burnout.

 

So, reduce the impact of job demands and resources on social worker burnout with mindfulness.

 

a career in social work is generally highly demanding, with large caseloads and minimal compensation. Imagine, for example, performing a job in which your caseload outweighs your time, your clients are victims of chronic abuse, and you barely earn enough money to pay your mortgage.” – Heather Lonczak

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Huang, C., Xie, X., Cheung, S. P., Zhou, Y., & Ying, G. (2021). Job Demands, Resources, and Burnout in Social Workers in China: Mediation Effect of Mindfulness. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(19), 10526. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910526

 

Abstract

Internationally, human service professionals, including social workers, experience high burnout and turnover rates. Despite the recent and rapid development of contemporary social work in China, Chinese social workers similarly experience significant rates of burnout. Therefore, there is a need to investigate the factors that contribute to social work burnout. This study applied the job demands and resources (JD-R) model to examine the effects of JD-R on burnout in social workers (n = 897) from Chengdu, China, and whether these relations are mediated by state mindfulness. Structural equation modeling results supported the previously hypothesized dual process by which JD-R affect burnout, specifically in a sample of social workers in China. Job demands (JD) were positively associated with burnout, while job resources (JR) were negatively associated with burnout. These relations were partially mediated by state mindfulness. JR had a strong, positive direct effect on mindfulness (β = 0.38), and its total effect on burnout was high (β = −0.56). Meanwhile, JD had a slight negative direct effect on mindfulness (β = −0.09), and its total effect on burnout was 0.42. The results suggest that the implementation of mindfulness-based interventions for social workers can potentially mitigate the effect of JD on burnout, as well as increase the effect of JR on burnout.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507647/

 

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of Social Care Workers with Mindfulness

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of Social Care Workers with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness also helps social workers with self-care . . . allowing them to notice when they’re getting overwhelmed and recognize signs of burnout earlier. Social workers . . . deal with extremely difficult things, and mindfulness can help them not feel overloaded.” – Kate Jackson

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. In high stress occupations, like social work, burnout is all too prevalent. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. Improving the psychological health of individuals involved in social care, then, has to be a priority.

 

Contemplative practices have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep.  It makes sense that intervening early in the training for professional social care workers would help prevent later stress effects and burnout. Hence, it is reasonable to examine the ability of mindfulness training to improve the well-being of students preparing for careers as social care professionals.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Health and Social Care Education: a Cohort-Controlled Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190752/ ) Lo and colleagues recruited postgraduate students in social work, family therapy, or counseling and assigned them to either a no-treatment control or to receive 8 weekly, 2.5-hour sessions of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The MBSR program consists of practice with meditation, yoga, and body scan, along with discussion and home practice. They were measured before and after training for burnout, perceived stress, work engagement, physical stress, empathy, and time in home practice.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment control group the group that received Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) had significantly lower levels of perceived stress, physical distress, burnout, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization of the client, and significantly higher levels of vigor. Hence, they found that participation in the MBSR program resulted in significant improvement in the psychological health of social care postgraduate students.

 

It should be noted that the present study used a weak research design that lacked random assignment of participants to groups, an active control condition, and follow-up measurements. This leave the interpretation open to confounding explanations and does not determine if the effects are lasting. Future studies should employ random assignment, an active control condition, e.g. exercise, and follow-up measurements.

 

But previous better controlled research has demonstrated that mindfulness training increases vigor and reduces perceived stress, distress, burnout, and emotional exhaustion. So, the present results, at least in part, are likely due to the ability of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training to improve psychological health. This suggests that the psychological health and resistance to stress and burnout in students preparing for careers as social care professionals can be strengthened by mindfulness training. This may better prepare them to deal with the stresses of their professional careers and make them more effective professionals.

 

So, improve the psychological well-being of social care workers with mindfulness.

 

mindfulness-based strategies . . .  will not prevent stress completely or take it away when it occurs, but doing them with care and attention on a regular basis can help us manage more effectively.” – Deborah Lisansky Beck

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lo, H., Ngai, S., & Yam, K. (2021). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Health and Social Care Education: a Cohort-Controlled Study. Mindfulness, 1–9. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-021-01663-z

 

Abstract

Objectives

Mindfulness practice has been recommended as part of health and social care education and training because of its potential benefits in fostering clinical skills and attitudes, increasing self-care, and reducing the effect of stress in education and occupation. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on stress, physical distress, job burnout, work engagement, and empathy for health and social care education.

Methods

Students (N = 124) from postgraduate programs in social work, counseling, and family therapy were recruited. Sixty-four students participated in an 8-week MBSR program as an elective course. Sixty students were recruited from other elective courses in the same cohort as control group participants. All participants completed self-report assessments.

Results

The results suggested that MBSR was associated with significant improvements in perceived efficacy and vigor and significant reductions in physical distress, total job burnout, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization of clients compared with the control group.

Conclusions

This study contributes to the growing body of literature highlighting the potential use of mindfulness practice to improve students’ personal well-being and professional growth in health and social care education. Mindfulness practice should be further promoted in health and social care education and training.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190752/

 

Spirituality (Meaningfulness) is Related to Lower Work Burnout

Spirituality (Meaningfulness) is Related to Lower Work Burnout

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“the use of spiritual beliefs and practices can reduce the effects of burnout.” – Andrew Jacob Godoy

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. Religion and spirituality have been promulgated as solutions to the challenges of life. There have been a number of studies of the influence of religiosity and spirituality on the physical and psychological well-being of practitioners mostly showing positive benefits, with spirituality encouraging personal growth and mental health. Spirituality may be viewed as a search for meaning in one’s life. Hence, there is a need to investigate the relationships of spirituality (meaningfulness) with burnout in work environments.

 

In today’s Research News article “An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Spirituality, Work Culture, and Burnout: The Need for an Extended Health and Disease Model.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.723884/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1735535_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20210921_arts_A ) Listopad and colleagues recruited employed adults online and had them complete measures of burnout, work engagement, meaningfulness of work, and homeliness in the organization. They operationally define spirituality as meaningfulness which in this study translates to meaningfulness of work.

 

They found that the lower the levels of work engagement, meaningfulness of work, and homeliness the greater the level of burnout. They also found that the subscales of the meaningfulness of work measure were negatively related to burnout especially positive meaning of work and were also positively related to work engagement. Additionally, they found that the subscales of the homeliness in the organization measure were negatively related to burnout especially needs fulfillment, group membership, and emotional connection and were also positively related to work engagement.

 

The study is correlative and as such caution must be exercised in reaching conclusions regarding causation. Nevertheless, the results demonstrate that spirituality (meaningfulness) is related to lower burnout. The results suggest that greater meaningfulness of work (spirituality) and t connection of the worker to the organization (homeliness) the lower the levels of burnout and the higher the levels of engagement in the work. The search for meaning (spirituality) is ubiquitous in humans. Hence, in part, burnout is more likely to occur when there is a lack of meaningfulness. When meaning is missing it is more likely that work will unsatisfying and burnout can occur.

 

So, spirituality (meaningfulness) is related to lower work burnout.

 

spirituality may have a positive impact on the experience of and ability to manage workplace stress . . . spirituality may have positive impacts on job burnout.” – Jessica L. Lueck

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Listopad IW, Esch T and Michaelsen MM (2021) An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Spirituality, Work Culture, and Burnout: The Need for an Extended Health and Disease Model. Front. Psychol. 12:723884. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.723884

 

Apart from biological, psychological, and social factors, recent studies indicate that spirituality and work culture also play an important role in the onset of burnout. Hence, the commonly applied bio-psycho-social model of health and disease might not be sufficient to comprehensively explain and describe burnout. This study empirically investigates the relationship between spirituality (operationalized by perceived meaningfulness of work) and work culture (operationalized by sense of homeliness of the working environment) with burnout risk and work engagement. For this purpose, an anonymous cross-sectional data collection with fully standardized questionnaires and selected socio-demographic and work-related items was conducted among working adults (n = 439) from different industries via social media and local health service centers. For all scales and subscales, we found significant moderate to strong correlations. Furthermore, positive meaning within the perceived meaningfulness of work scale was the largest beta coefficient for burnout (β = −0.65) and work engagement (β = 0.62). Within sense of homeliness, the largest beta coefficient for burnout was needs fulfillment (β = −0.34) and work engagement emotional connection (β = 0.36). The strong associations suggest that the current health and disease model needs to be expanded to a bio-psycho-socio-spirito-cultural model to be able to sufficiently describe burnout. The perceived meaningfulness of work and a sense of homeliness should be adequately considered when examining the onset of burnout, describing burnout as a concept, and explaining work engagement.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.723884/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1735535_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20210921_arts_A

 

Decrease Burnout in Parents During Covid-19 Lockdown with Mindfulness

Decrease Burnout in Parents During Covid-19 Lockdown with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness can lower stress and anxiety, help with sleep and increase wellbeing. There are also specific benefits of mindfulness for anyone providing care to others.” – Naomi Stoll

 

Parenting can be difficult in the best of times but within a pandemic induced lockdown the pressures on the parents are substantially increased. Burnout can result from the continuing stress. Being mindful or engaging in mindfulness practices can be helpful in coping with the physical and psychological manifestations of stress.  In addition mindfulness can help build empathyself-compassionpatience, and flexibility that are so important for parenting, resilience to withstand the stresses, and the ability to effectively cope with the strong emotions. Indeed, Mindfulness practices has been shown to help parents cope with the physical and psychological demands of parenting.

 

In today’s Research News article “Self-Compassion and Rumination Type Mediate the Relation between Mindfulness and Parental Burnout.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393602/ ) Paucsik and colleagues recruited online parents with children during the Covid-19 lockdown. They completed measures twice, separated by a month, of mindfulness practice, mindfulness, self-compassion, rumination, and parental burnout.

 

They found that at time 1 and 2 the higher the levels of parental mindfulness the higher the level of self-compassion and the lower the levels of burnout and rumination and the higher the levels of self-compassion the lower the levels of burnout and rumination. They further show that the higher the levels of mindfulness and self-compassion at time 1 the lower the levels of burnout at time 2 and the higher the levels of rumination at time 1 the higher the levels of burnout at time 2. Mindfulness at time 1 was found to be both directly associated with lower burnout at time 2 and also indirectly by being associated with higher self-compassion and lower ruminations at time 1 which were in turn associated with lower burnout.

 

These results are correlative and as such causation cannot be determined. But past research has demonstrated causal connections between mindfulness and burnout and self-compassion and burnout. So, the current results likely occurred also due to causal connections. Preventing the stress of the Covid-19 lockdown from debilitating parenting and producing burnout is highly important. The present study suggests that mindfulness and self-compassion can perform that role. This further suggests that mindfulness and self-compassion training would be helpful to parents in general and especially helpful during times of stress on the family.

 

So, decrease burnout in parents during Covid-19 lockdown with mindfulness.

 

Practicing mindfulness is a way to focus on the present, rather than worrying about the past or the future. This is especially important when you’re spending a lot of your time in a caregiving role—you need time to relax your mind and your body.” – Karen Gagliatre

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Paucsik, M., Urbanowicz, A., Leys, C., Kotsou, I., Baeyens, C., & Shankland, R. (2021). Self-Compassion and Rumination Type Mediate the Relation between Mindfulness and Parental Burnout. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(16), 8811. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168811

 

Abstract

The COVID-19 lockdown increased the day-to-day challenges faced by parents, and thereby may have increased parental burnout risk. Therefore, identifying parental burnout protection factors is essential. This study aimed to assess the protective role of the following factors which can be increased through mindfulness practice: trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and concrete vs. abstract ruminations. A total of 459 parents (Mage = 40; 98.7% female) completed self-reported questionnaires at two-time points to assess the predictive role of mindfulness on parental burnout, self-compassion and rumination type, and the mediating role of self-compassion and rumination type in the relation between mindfulness and parental burnout. Results showed that trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and rumination type at Time 1 predicted levels of parental burnout at Time 2. Self-compassion (indirect effects: b = − 22, 95% CI = [−38, −05], p < 0.01), concrete ruminations (indirect effects: b = −20, 95% CI = [−32, −09], p < 0.001), and abstract ruminations (indirect effects: b = −0.54, 95% CI = [−71, −37], p < 0.001) partially mediated the relation between trait-mindfulness and parental burnout. These findings showed that trait mindfulness, self-compassion, and concrete (vs. abstract) ruminations may help prevent parental burnout in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results contribute to the field of research on parental burnout prevention and will allow for the development of effective approaches to mental health promotion in parents.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8393602/

Decrease Burnout in Healthcare Workers During Covid-19 with Mindfulness

Decrease Burnout in Healthcare Workers During Covid-19 with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Healthcare professionals have been going above and beyond in order to safeguard everyone’s health and well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. Many have been stretched to capacity—and it’s not as if all the pre-COVID pressures have magically disappeared. Mindfulness can help healthcare professionals look after themselves and their colleagues during this time and beyond.” – Mindful

 

For healthcare professionals the Covid-19 pandemic has produced a number of difficult issues that may be helped by mindfulness practice. Being mindful or engaging in mindfulness practices can be helpful in coping with the physical and psychological manifestations of stress produced by long hours of working with very sick people with a highly infectious disease, the depression resulting from separation from family and loved ones, the post-traumatic stress disorder that can be produced by repeated exposure to suffering and death, and burnout that can result from the overwhelming quantity and seriousness of the symptoms. In addition mindfulness can help build empathycompassionpatience, and flexibility that are so important for the treatment of the patients, resilience to withstand the stresses, and the ability to effectively cope with the strong emotions produced.

 

In today’s Research News article “Synchronous Mindfulness in Motion Online: Strong Results, Strong Attendance at a Critical Time for Health Care Professionals (HCPs) in the COVID Era.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.725810/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1709299_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20210824_arts_A ) Klatt and colleagues recruited healthcare professionals and delivered to them a mindfulness training program, Mindfulness in Motion (MIM), either in person or over the internet and before the Covid-19 Pandemic or after. They were measured before and after training for resilience, perceived stress, work engagement, and burnout, including subscales of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.

 

They found that after the mindfulness training there were significant reductions in burnout and perceived stress, and significant increases in resilience and work engagement regardless of whether it was delivered before or after the Covid-19 Pandemic. After Covid there were significantly higher levels of emotional exhaustion, but the mindfulness training produced significantly greater reductions in emotional exhaustion and perceived stress. There were no significant differences between the effects of the training delivered virtually over the internet or in person.

 

These results demonstrate that mindfulness training improves the psychological health of healthcare workers regardless of whether it’s delivered in person or over the internet or whether it was delivered before or after the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Although there weren’t control comparison conditions present, prior controlled research has demonstrated that mindfulness training produces significant decreases in burnout and perceived stress and increases in resilience and work engagement. So, the present results likely are due to the mindfulness training program.

 

These are important findings as healthcare workers, particularly during the Covid-19 Pandemic are under severe stress which makes burnout likely. In addition, these workers have little available time for training, so being able to deliver the program over the internet makes it more readily available. Hence, mindfulness training appears to be able to buffer the healthcare professionals from burnout and improve their psychological well-being even during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

 

So, decrease burnout in healthcare workers during Covid-19 with mindfulness.

 

There is no doubt that the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a high level of stress and distress, particularly among health care workers due to our unique role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. During a pandemic like this, our capacity to stay calm, present, and compassionate is more important than ever.” – Dzung Vo

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Klatt M, Bawa R, Gabram O, Westrick A and Blake A (2021) Synchronous Mindfulness in Motion Online: Strong Results, Strong Attendance at a Critical Time for Health Care Professionals (HCPs) in the COVID Era. Front. Psychol. 12:725810. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.725810

 

Mindfulness in Motion (MIM) is an organizationally-sponsored mindfulness program for employees at a large academic health center that consistently produces significant reductions in burnout and perceived stress, alongside significant increases in work engagement and resilience. This study compared outcome measures of a synchronous virtual delivery of MIM, necessitated by COVID-19, to traditional in-person delivery of MIM. Outcome measures from the virtual COVID (AU20, WI21, SP21) MIM cohorts (n = 99) were compared with the in-person Pre-COVID (SP19, AU19, WI20) MIM cohorts (n = 124). Both Pre-COVID and COVID cohorts had similar attendance rates with an average attendance of 84 and 80%, respectively. Qualitative analysis of COVID cohorts reported community support during COVID as a substantial intervention benefit, which was important at a time when isolation dominated the healthcare professional experience. Total burnout was determined by scores on the subscales of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). There were no significant differences in depersonalization (p = 0.3876) and personal accomplishment (p = 0.1519) changes between Pre-COVID and COVID cohorts, however there was a significant difference in emotional exhaustion (p = 0.0315), with COVID cohorts improving more. In both Pre, and COVID cohorts, the percentage of people meeting burnout criteria from pre to post between groups were similar, yielding a non-significant difference (p = 0.2950). The Connor Davidson Resiliency Scale (CDRS) and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES) also produced no significant differences between groups (p = 0.4259, p = 0.1984, respectively). The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) though yielded significant differences in reduction between groups (p = 0.0405), again with COVID cohorts showing greater improvement. Results of the first synchronous, virtually delivered MIM cohorts reflect that participants achieved very similar results and that MIM created a community in a time when it was greatly needed due to pandemic healthcare professional stress.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.725810/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1709299_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20210824_arts_A