Does A Modified MBCT Course Have the Potential to Reduce Stress and Burnout in NHS GPs? Feasibility Study

Hamilton-West, Kate E., Pellatt-Higgins, Tracy, Pillai, Neil (2018) Does A Modified MBCT Course Have the Potential to Reduce Stress and Burnout in NHS GPs? Feasibility Study. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 19 (6). pp. 591-597. ISSN 1463-4236. (doi:10.1017/S1463423618000129)

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https://doi.org/10.1017/S1463423618000129

Abstract

Aim To explore, for the first time, whether a modified mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) course has the potential to reduce stress and burnout among National Health Service (NHS) General Practitioners. Background There is a crisis of low morale among NHS GPs, with most describing their workload as ‘unmanageable’. MBCT has been demonstrated to improve stress and burnout in other populations, but has not yet been evaluated in a cohort of NHS GPs. Methods NHS GPs in South East England (n=22) attended a modified version of the MBCT course approved by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for prevention of depressive relapse. This comprised eight weekly 2-h sessions with homework (mindfulness practice) between sessions. Participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) before (baseline) and then again one month (T2) and three months (T3) after attending the course. We also obtained qualitative data on participants’ experiences of the course. Findings Compliance with the intervention was very high. All GPs attended at least six sessions and all completed baseline questionnaires. At T2, data were obtained from 21 participants (95%); PSS scores were significantly lower than at baseline (P<0.001), as were MBI emotional exhaustion (P<0.001) and depersonalization scores (P=0.0421). At T3 we obtained data for 13 participants (59%); PSS scores and MBI emotional exhaustion scores were significantly lower (P<0.001; P=0.0024, respectively) and personal accomplishment scores were significantly higher (P<0.001) than at baseline. Participants reported that the course helped them to manage work pressures, feel more relaxed, enjoy their work and experience greater empathy and compassion (for self, colleagues and patients). Findings of this preliminary evaluation are promising. Further research is needed to evaluate this approach within a larger randomized-controlled trial.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S1463423618000129
Uncontrolled keywords: mindfulness, stress, burnout, doctors, general practice, primary care
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Kate Hamilton-West
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 16:48 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 09:23 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/65841 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hamilton-West, Kate E.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3160-0311
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