The role of mindfulness based stress reduction programming on clinician burnout and professional fulfillment at Boston Medical Center
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Career burnout, defined by feelings of high emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplishment, is prevalent amongst clinicians. A literature search established mindfulness-based interventions are growing in popularity to reduce or prevent burnout in healthcare. One type of mindfulness-based intervention is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programming. MBSR, an eight-week course, has been shown to reduce stress and improve quality of life and self-compassion. Our research aims to investigate the current burnout landscape in the field of medicine, and evaluate the effects of a MBSR variant course on clinician burnout and professional fulfillment at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Through the creation and execution of an eight-week MBSR variant course, Mindfulness Training for BMC Clinicians: A Program for Stress Reduction, Vitality, and Professional Development, we surveyed clinicians before the course, after the completion of the course, and two months after the completion of the course. The surveys were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data; we employed mixed methods analysis to statistically evaluate these data. The survey results were used to calculate numerical professional fulfillment and burnout scores for each clinician. Changes in scores were evaluated over time. These data suggest participants' professional fulfillment increased and burnout decreased from baseline measures to post-intervention measures, and results were sustained two months after the course was completed. Likewise, our qualitative data revealed approximately two-thirds of participants remarked having greater value on self-care. The vast majority of participants plan on continuing their mindfulness practice after the course and would recommend the MBSR variant course to their colleagues. Mindfulness based interventions show promise in increasing professional fulfillment and alleviating aspects of career burnout in clinicians at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Continuation of our pilot course will allow our team to increase our sample size and continue to evaluate and modify methods to best serve clinicians and other hospital employees in the efforts to increase their overall wellbeing.