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Association of empathy and burnout with a mindfulness curriculum in Ob/Gyn residents
Purpose: Examine the association between the use of a residency
mindfulness curriculum and resident burnout levels and empathy scores to
determine if these measures changed over time.
Background: Physician burnout is a well-documented phenomenon and
is associated with decreased empathy and decreased quality of patient care.
Psychological research suggests that mindfulness training may influence empathy
and focus, which may in turn reduce physician burnout.
Methods: A mindfulness focused wellness curriculum was utilized
for all Ob/Gyn residents at a large public university. Empathy was
prospectively measured using the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) and burnout
using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) at 3 time points. All residents were
given the opportunity to participate.
Results: Twenty-six participants participated in the study.
Seven participants had complete data across all 3 time points and 13
participants had two complete data points. There were no statistically
significant differences between group means for the JSE as determined by
one-way ANOVA (F(2,50) = .367, p = .688). There was no statistically
significant difference between group means for the three components of the MBI
(burnout F(2,50) = 1.288, p= .285; depersonalization F(2, 50) = .503, p = .608;
and personal achievement F(2,50) = .567, p = .571). Although not statistically
significant, the burnout component of the MBI mean score did change the
resulting category of burnout from “low level” to “moderate” from the first
data collection to the final. When separated by PGY level and collapsed across
time, there was no significant difference between group means for the JSE
(F(3,49) = .339, p = .797).
Discussions: A mindfulness curriculum was not associated with
statistically significant changes over time in empathy or burnout. Empathy
scores remained high despite low to moderate levels of burnout.
CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2020, Student, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Professionalism, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME, General Ob-Gyn,