A pilot feasibility study of a peer-led mindfulness program for medical students

Marlon Danilewitz, Jacques Bradwejn, Diana Koszycki

Abstract


Background: Mindfulness meditation has gained momentum in medical circles for bolstering wellbeing and other facets of professionalism. This study evaluated the feasibility and benefits of a peer-led mindfulness meditation program (MMP) on medical student wellness and professionalism.

Method: Pre-clerkship students were recruited and randomized to the 8-week MMP or wait-list. Feasibility outcomes included ease of recruitment, program attendance and homework compliance. Other outcomes included self-reported psychological distress, empathy, self-compassion, mindfulness, altruism and program satisfaction.

Results: The MMP decreased levels of stress and enhanced mindfulness, self-compassion and altruism from baseline to post-study. Changes were not significant for the wait-list condition. Although satisfaction with the MMP was high compliance was suboptimal.

Conclusions: A peer-led MMP is feasible and may be a promising approach to enhance medical student wellbeing. Further research is needed to explore strategies to improve program compliance in this student population.

Keywords


medical student wellness; stress; mindfulness meditation;

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Copyright (c) 2016

CMEJ ~ Canadian Medical Education Journal
Jennifer O'Brien PhD, Managing Editor, University of Saskatchewan; E-mail: cmej.manager@usask.ca


ISSN 1923-1202