Feasibility and effectiveness of an online mindfulness meditation program for medical students

Authors

  • Marlon Danilewitz Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
  • Diana Koszycki University of Ottawa
  • Heather Maclean Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
  • Millaray Sanchez-Campos Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa
  • Carol Gonsalves Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
  • Douglas Archibald Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa
  • Jacques Bradwejn Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36834/cmej.43041

Keywords:

Medical students, wellness, mindfulness, online mindfulness program

Abstract

Background: The need to incorporate tools to promote medical student wellness in medical education is underscored by the concerning rates of psychological distress among them. The objective of this prospective cohort study was to obtain preliminary data on the feasibility and effectiveness of an online mindfulness intervention for medical student wellness.

Methods: A convenience sample of 52 medical students consented to participate in this study. Feasibility was assessed by ease of recruitment, number of modules completed, satisfaction with the program, and adherence to a regular meditation practice. Participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy-medical student version, the Five Face of Mindfulness Questionnaire-short form, and the Self Compassion Scale-short form pre and post intervention.

Results: The convenience sample was recruited within a two-month period. Forty-five participants completed at least one of seven modules. Descriptive statistics (mean±standard deviation) revealed that the mean number of modules completed was 4.85±2.7. Mean satisfaction with the modules was 7.07±1.1 out of 10. Adherence to a regular formal meditation practice was poor; the average amount of formal meditation practice per module was 34.14±27.44 minutes. Self-compassion and the “observe and describe” facets of mindfulness practice significantly statistically increased from baseline, but no such change was observed for levels of burnout and empathy.

Conclusion: The present study indicates that an online mindfulness meditation program may be of interest to medical students. The results did not provide any evidence that the program was effective but we believe further research and development is warranted.

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Author Biographies

Marlon Danilewitz, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Resident in Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Diana Koszycki, University of Ottawa

Professor, Counselling Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Ottawa

Heather Maclean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Millaray Sanchez-Campos, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Carol Gonsalves, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Douglas Archibald, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine

Jacques Bradwejn, Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

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Published

2018-11-13

How to Cite

1.
Danilewitz M, Koszycki D, Maclean H, Sanchez-Campos M, Gonsalves C, Archibald D, Bradwejn J. Feasibility and effectiveness of an online mindfulness meditation program for medical students. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2018 Nov. 13 [cited 2024 Jul. 14];9(4):e15-25. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/43041

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Section

Original Research

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