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

 

Spirituality and Religion are Associated with Better Well-Being in Medical Residents

Spirituality and Religion are Associated with Better Well-Being in Medical Residents

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Most internal medicine residents have positive attitudes toward spirituality, religion, and medicine. They do not have adequate knowledge or skill to care for patients in this area.” – Gina M. Piscitello

 

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. 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 and patients mostly showing positive benefits, with spirituality encouraging personal growth and mental health. But there is still a need to investigate the relationships of spirituality with psychological well-being in patients and medical residents.

 

In today’s Research News article “Spirituality and religion in residents and inter-relationships with clinical practice and residency training: a scoping review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8166631/ ) Chow and colleagues review and summarize the published research on the relationship of spirituality and religion to the psychological well-being of patients and medical residents. They identified 44 published studies.

 

They report that the research found that medical residents believed that spirituality and religion were important to patients and made a difference in the outcomes of treatment. Over half of the residents identified themselves as spiritual or religious. The higher the degree of spirituality but not church going of the residents’ the greater sense of accomplishment and overall health and the lower the levels of burnout and depression. They report that although the patients rarely brought up spirituality and religion and the residents rarely inquired, when the medical issue was very serious and life threatening, it was brought up 72% of the time. They also report that the curriculum for medical residents rarely included spirituality and religion topics.

 

The findings suggest that the majority of medical residents recognize the importance of spirituality and religion for their patients and that it positively relates to treatment adherence and clinical outcomes, but the issues were rarely addressed. Spirituality and religion were important personally to the majority of the residents and were related to better well-being and lower burnout. But there was little instruction in the curriculum about these issues and there was great reticence to bring it up with patients. This suggests that training curricula for medical residents should include greater incorporation of spiritual and religious issues and how to incorporate them into patient care.

 

So, spirituality and religion are associated with better well-being in medical residents.

 

Although religion and spirituality continue to be contested and controversial topics in our society, the existing evidence highlights patients’ desires to have some level of spiritual interaction with their healthcare providers.” – James Behan

 

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

 

Chow, H., Chew, Q. H., & Sim, K. (2021). Spirituality and religion in residents and inter-relationships with clinical practice and residency training: a scoping review. BMJ open, 11(5), e044321. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044321

 

Abstract

Objectives

With the increased emphasis on personalised, patient-centred care, there is now greater acceptance and expectation for the physician to address issues related to spirituality and religion (SR) during clinical consultations with patients. In light of the clinical need to improve SR-related training in residency, this review sought to examine the extant literature on the attitudes of residents regarding SR during residency training, impact on clinical care and psychological well-being of residents and SR-related curriculum implemented within various residency programmes.

Design

A scoping review was conducted on studies examining the topic of SR within residency training up until July 2020 on PubMed/Medline and Web of Science databases. Keywords for the literature search included: (Spirituality OR Religion) AND (Residen* OR “Postgraduate Medicine” OR “Post-graduate Medicine” OR “Graduate Medical Education”).

Results

Overall, 44 studies were included. The majority were conducted in North America (95.5%) predominantly within family medicine (29.5%), psychiatry (29.5%) and internal medicine (25%) residency programmes. While residents held positive attitudes about the role of SR and impact on patient care (such as better therapeutic relationship, treatment adherence and coping with illness), they often lacked the knowledge and skills to address these issues. Better spiritual well-being of residents was associated with greater sense of work accomplishment, overall self-rated health, decreased burnout and depressive symptoms. SR-related curricula varied from standalone workshops to continuous modules across the training years.

Conclusions

These findings suggest a need to better integrate appropriate SR-related education within residency training. Better engagement of the residents through different pedagogical strategies with supervision, feedback, reflective practice and ongoing faculty and peer support can enhance learning about SR in clinical care. Future studies should identify barriers to SR-related training and evaluate the outcomes of these SR-related curriculum including how they impact the well-being of patients and residents over time.

Keywords: medical education & training, Education & training (see medical education & training), mental

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8166631/

 

Improve Executives’ Attitudes Toward Work with a Mindfulness App

Improve Executives’ Attitudes Toward Work with a Mindfulness App

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindful working means applying focus and awareness to everything you do from the moment you enter the office. Focus on the task at hand and recognize and release internal and external distractions as they arise. In this way, mindfulness helps increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and even enhance creativity.” –  Rasmus Hougaard

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. Indeed, the work environment has even become an important part of our social lives, with friendships and leisure time activities often attached to the people we work with. But work-related stress is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy. To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. These mindfulness practices have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress.

 

The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a trained teacher. The participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with busy employee schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, apps for smartphones have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations. But the question arises as to the effectiveness of these apps in inducing mindfulness and reducing stress and improving psychological well-being in executives in real-world work settings.

 

In today’s Research News article “An App-Based Workplace Mindfulness Intervention, and Its Effects Over Time.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8101632/ ) Lu and colleagues recruited working executives who had signed up for an 8-week mindfulness program on the Awakened Mind® platform. The App contained 8 weekly mindfulness meditation sessions. They were measured before, weekly during, and after training for mindfulness, emotional exhaustion, work engagement, and job satisfaction.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness, the higher the levels of work engagement, and job satisfaction and the lower the levels of emotional exhaustion. They also found that over time mindfulness grew stronger which in turn produced greater levels of work engagement, and job satisfaction and lower levels of emotional exhaustion. These effects grew throughout the 8 weeks of training but the rate of change was greatest early in training slowing later in training. Hence, the app increases mindfulness over time and this in turn improves workplace attitudes.

 

One problem encountered was that participation rates decreased over the 8 weeks of training such that by the end of training only 54% of the original participants were still using the app. This might suggest that experimental mortality could account for the results. But the fact that the effects were present early in the program when participation rates were high suggests that use of the app and not a confounding variable was responsible for the effects.

 

The results suggest that business executives benefit from using a mindfulness meditation app and further suggest that the app increases mindfulness which is responsible for the improved attitudes toward work. Mindfulness has been previously shown to reduce burnout at work. This suggests that this simple, convenient, and inexpensive mindfulness training should be recommended for business executives.

 

So, improve executives’ attitudes toward work with a mindfulness App.

 

a brief two-week mindfulness training app can change a person’s biological response to stress.” – Emily K. Lindsay

 

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

 

Lu, Y., Remond, J., Bunting, M., Ilies, R., Tripathi, N., & Narayanan, J. (2021). An App-Based Workplace Mindfulness Intervention, and Its Effects Over Time. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 615137. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.615137

 

Abstract

We investigated the week-to-week effects of a mindfulness intervention on emotional exhaustion, work engagement, and job satisfaction in a field study involving 218 participants who participated and reported their weekly outcomes during the 8-week program. To examine how mindfulness impacted work outcomes, we used intraindividual modeling of the 8-week data. Mindfulness increased over time, and time also had indirect effects on emotional exhaustion, work engagement, and job satisfaction, through mindfulness. Supplementary growth curve analyses on the improvement of mindfulness over time showed a slight decrease in the positive effect of time on mindfulness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8101632/

 

Improve Psychological Health at Work with Mindfulness

Improve Psychological Health at Work with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindful working means applying focus and awareness to everything you do from the moment you enter the office. Focus on the task at hand and recognize and release internal and external distractions as they arise. In this way, mindfulness helps increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and even enhance creativity.” – Rasmus Hougaard

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our psychological, social, and physical health. But, nearly 2/3 of employees worldwide are unhappy at work. This is partially due to work-related stress which is epidemic in the western workplace. Almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This stress can result in impaired health and can result in burnout; producing fatigue, cynicism, and professional inefficacy.

 

To help overcome unhappiness, stress, and burnoutmindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace. Indeed, mindfulness practices have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. As a result, it has become very trendy for business to incorporate meditation into the workday to help improve employee well-being, health, and productivity. These programs attempt to increase the employees’ mindfulness at work and thereby reduce stress. It is not known, however, how mindfulness and its benefits grow over training

 

In today’s Research News article “An App-Based Workplace Mindfulness Intervention, and Its Effects Over Time.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.615137/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1616048_69_Psycho_20210504_arts_A) Lu and colleagues recruited participants online to an online mindfulness training (Awakened Mind) once a week for 8 weeks. They were measured before and after each weekly session for mindfulness, emotional exhaustion, work engagement, and job satisfaction.

 

They report that over training mindfulness significantly increases and was associated with higher levels of work engagement and job satisfaction and lower levels of emotional exhaustion. Multilevel growth level analysis revealed that amount of time in training significantly increased mindfulness and it, in turn, increased work engagement and job satisfaction and decreased emotional exhaustion. They also report that the rate of growth in mindfulness significantly slowed over the 8 weeks of training.

 

Previous research has demonstrated that mindfulness training improves work engagement and job satisfaction and reduces emotional exhaustion. The contribution of the present study was to document the growth of mindfulness and its impact on work over 8 weeks of online training. Not surprisingly, the growth in mindfulness was relatively rapid at the beginning of training and slower toward the end of the 8 weeks of training. So, further training produces diminishing returns.

 

The mindfulness training was online and thus did not interrupt the participants’ work. This is important as employers are reluctant to take time away from work for mindfulness training. Having it occur online allows the participants to schedule it at their own convenience without disrupting work and also greatly increases its availability to large numbers of workers at low cost. Online training, then, is an almost ideal method of training workers in mindfulness and thereby improve their psychological state at work.

 

So, improve psychological health at work with mindfulness.

 

To be mindful at work means to be consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state.” – Shamash Alidina

 

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

 

Lu Y, Remond J, Bunting M, Ilies R, Tripathi N and Narayanan J (2021) An App-Based Workplace Mindfulness Intervention, and Its Effects Over Time. Front. Psychol. 12:615137. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.615137

 

We investigated the week-to-week effects of a mindfulness intervention on emotional exhaustion, work engagement, and job satisfaction in a field study involving 218 participants who participated and reported their weekly outcomes during the 8-week program. To examine how mindfulness impacted work outcomes, we used intraindividual modeling of the 8-week data. Mindfulness increased over time, and time also had indirect effects on emotional exhaustion, work engagement, and job satisfaction, through mindfulness. Supplementary growth curve analyses on the improvement of mindfulness over time showed a slight decrease in the positive effect of time on mindfulness.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.615137/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1616048_69_Psycho_20210504_arts_A

 

University Leaders and Teachers Mindfulness are Associated with Lower Emotional Exhaustion in Teachers

University Leaders and Teachers Mindfulness are Associated with Lower Emotional Exhaustion in Teachers

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“leader mindfulness significantly reduces the emotional exhaustion of university teachers.” – Beini Liu

 

Work is very important for our health and well-being. We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for not only to productivity in the workplace but also to our psychological and physical health. Mindfulness practices have been implemented in the workplace and they have been shown to markedly reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress. This, in turn, improves productivity and the well-being of the employees. As a result, many businesses have incorporated mindfulness practices into the workday.

 

Mindfulness may also help to promote leadership in the workplace. It can potentially do so by enhancing emotion regulation, making the individual better able to recognize, experience, and adaptively respond to their emotions, and making the leader better able to listen to and to understand the needs and emotion of the workers they lead. Hence, the mindfulness of the leader may well be associated with University teachers’ well-being.

 

In today’s Research News article “Influence of Leader Mindfulness on the Emotional Exhaustion of University Teachers: Resources Crossover Effect.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7959755/ ) Liu and colleagues recruited public university leaders and teachers and had them complete a questionnaire measuring leader mindfulness and teacher mindfulness, workplace telepressure, emotional exhaustion, self-efficacy, working hours, and years in current position.

 

They found that with gender, age, tenure, and hours worked statistically controlled that the higher the level of the leader’s mindfulness the lower the level of the teacher’s emotional exhaustion and the lower the levels of telepressure. A mediation analysis revealed the leader’s mindfulness was associated with lower teacher emotional exhaustion directly and also indirectly by being associated with lower telepressure and telepressure was associated with higher levels of teacher emotional exhaustion. This association between the leader’s mindfulness and the lower teacher’s emotional exhaustions was significantly stronger when the teachers had high levels of mindfulness. Finally, they found that the higher the levels of the teacher’s self-efficacy the weaker the relationship between telepressure and emotional exhaustion.

 

The study was correlational so no conclusions regarding causation can be reached. Nevertheless, the associations between the variables are interesting. It is clear that mindfulness is important both within the individual teacher and also in the leader for being associated with lower teacher emotional exhaustion. It has previously been shown that mindfulness decreases burnout. So, the relationships observed here probably results from a causal connection.

 

Workplace telepressure “is a psychological state in which employees are constantly concerned about urgently responding to work-related ICTs [Information and Communications Technologies] during non-working hours.” These communications appear to be associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion and these, in part, appear to mediate the effects of mindfulness on emotional exhaustion. In addition, when the teachers had high self-efficacy, telepressure had less of an impact on emotional exhaustion.

 

Preventing teacher burnout is important not only for the teacher’s well-being but also for the students’ education. It is clear that mindful academic leadership is important, suggesting that mindfulness training for leaders may improve the workplace environment for the teachers. The teacher’s level of mindfulness and self-efficacy appear also to be important, suggesting that mindfulness and self-efficacy training for the teachers would also likely improve their well-being. The results also suggest that communications to the teachers should be limited and less urgent. Being cognizant of the importance of these relationships can help to improve the environment, psychological health, and performance of university teachers.

 

So, university leaders’ and teachers’ mindfulness are associated with lower emotional exhaustion in teachers.

 

administrators and school leaders can increase retention and efficacy by seeking out ways to support teachers’ self-care and learning of mindfulness techniques.” – Kelsey Milne

 

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

 

Liu, B., Zhang, Z., & Lu, Q. (2021). Influence of Leader Mindfulness on the Emotional Exhaustion of University Teachers: Resources Crossover Effect. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 597208. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.597208

 

Abstract

This study combined conservation of resources theory with the job demands-resources model to explore the influence of leader mindfulness on the emotional exhaustion of university teachers Using a time-lagged research design, 388 paired data sets were gathered. Multiple regression and bootstrapping were used to test each hypothesis. The results showed that first, leader mindfulness significantly reduces the emotional exhaustion of university teachers. Second, the results showed that workplace telepressure partially mediates the relationship between leader mindfulness and the emotional exhaustion of university teachers. Third, university teacher mindfulness positively moderates the relationship between leader mindfulness and workplace telepressure. Finally, the results of this study indicate that self-efficacy in managing negative emotions negatively moderates the relationship between workplace telepressure and the emotional exhaustion of university teachers. This study empirically examined the interpersonal influence of leader mindfulness and the initial resources effect of university teacher mindfulness and self-efficacy in managing negative emotions from the bilateral perspective of leaders and university teachers.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7959755/