Does Mindfulness Decrease Stress and Foster Empathy among Nursing Students?

ArticleinJournal of Nursing Education 43(7):305-12 · July 2004with323 Reads
Source: PubMed
This pilot study of baccalaureate nursing students explored the effects of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course on stress and empathy. The course was intended to provide students with tools to cope with personal and professional stress and to foster empathy through intrapersonal knowing. A convenience sample of 16 students participated in the course, used guided meditation audiotapes at home, and completed journal assignments. Stress and empathy were measured using paired sample t tests. Participation in the intervention significantly reduced students' anxiety (p > .05). Favorable trends were observed in a number of stress dimensions including attitude, time pressure, and total stress. Two dimensions of empathy--personal distress and fantasy--also demonstrated favorable downward trends. Regular home meditation was correlated with additional benefit. Participants reported using meditation in daily life and experiencing greater well-being and improved coping skills as a result of the program. Findings suggest that being mindful may also decrease tendencies to take on others' negative emotions. Coping with stress and fostering the affective domain are important facets of nursing education that may be facilitated by mindfulness training.
    • "If students do not learn to appropriately handle these emotional demands, then when they encounter challenges as newly graduated nurses, they may feel overwhelmed during the first year of their new profession (Duchscher 2008). These high levels of emotional stress and anxiety have been found to impede memory as well as concentration and problem solving abilities—all which may impede academic performance and learning (Beddoe and Murphy 2004). Nursing students need to successfully transition into the nursing profession after graduation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between mindfulness and emotion regulation in nursing students as well as the potential mediator role of working memory capacity in this relationship. The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), and an Automated Operation Span Task (AOSPAN) were administered to 80 undergraduate pre-licensure baccalaureate nursing students. Pearson correlation, structural equation path modeling, and one-way ANOVA tests were conducted. MAAS scores were significantly correlated with ERQ-Reappraisal scores (r = 0.19, p = 0.045) and AOSPAN scores (r = 0.30, p = 0.004). A structural equation path model indicated that there was a direct effect of dispositional mindfulness on emotion regulation (γ11 = 0.29, p = 0.034) and working memory capacity (γ21 = 4.98, p = 0.004). However, working memory capacity did not directly mediate the effect of mindfulness on emotion regulation (b weight = −0.03, p = 0.236). Also, MAAS scores were significantly different (p < 0.05) between the student cohort levels, with the first semester students having the highest MAAS scores and the fourth semester students have the lowest MAAS scores. These findings suggest that mindfulness may influence prospective nursing professionals’ working memory capacity and ability to regulate emotions. However, working memory capacity did not explain how mindfulness influenced the use of reappraisal as an emotion regulation strategy. Nurse educators should consider other potential mechanisms of how mindfulness influences emotion regulation in nursing students. Furthermore, educators should consider that potential differences in mindfulness exist between nursing students when they implement mindfulness-based interventions.
    Full-text · Article · May 2016
    • "In addition, leaders' mindfulness also plays an important role to encourage both leaders' innovation and employee engagement. Most studies shows the similar results leaders are more empathy when they are mindful (Beddoe & Murphy, 2004; Block‐Lerner et al., 2007; Dekeyser et al., 2008). In addition, leaders with gratitude are more compassion (Boyatzis, Smith & Blaize, 2006; Simpson, Clegg & Freeder, 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we examined the impact of human leadership on employee engagement through employee innovation. We have collected data from 384 employees in Malaysian and Cambodian companies. Hierarchical multiple regression were employed to test the hypotheses. The results showed that both employees satisfaction and their happiness are positively related to employee engagement, while only employee happiness is positively related to employee innovation. Moreover, employee innovation was shown to be positively related to employee engagement. Finally, employee happiness was found to have a partial mediating effect between human leadership and employee engagement.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016 · Journal of Clinical Nursing
    • "An increased ability to cope and function well in a stressful environment is a recurrent theme in qualitative research investigating other health and trainee health professionals' experiences and uses of mindfulness. Student nurses (Beddoe and Murphy 2004), medical students (Bond et al 2013), trainee psychologists (Hopkins and Proeve 2013) and social workers (McGarrigle and Walsh 2011) have all reported that mindfulness training helped them manage stress and handle difficult situations more effectively. Although mindfulness is often presented as a way of coping in stressful environments (Heard et al 2014), it is also possible that changing the way people operate within an environment may ultimately change the environment itself. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims and objectivesTo explore qualitative literature to ascertain whether and how nurses and midwives perceive that mindfulness impacts on their practice, particularly their interactions with patients. Background Stress and burnout, which negatively impact patient care, are widely reported among nurses and midwives, who face unique stressors as professionals who often hold little organisational power, but are expected to shoulder the burden of resource cuts and an increasingly complex workload. Mindfulness is recommended as a tool to decrease stress and burnout in health professionals, and may also increase practitioner compassion and improve patient interactions. DesignA critical interpretative synthesis. MethodsA systematic search was undertaken to identify qualitative studies where the majority of participants were qualified nurses and/or midwives who had attended mindfulness training. Retrieved literature was read and reread to identify relevant material, which was then coded into themes. Related themes were grouped into synthetic constructs, and a synthetic argument was produced to illustrate the relationships between these. ResultsFive relevant papers were identified. Findings indicate that mindfulness training enables nurses and midwives to gain some control over their thoughts and stress levels. This then creates a quiet mental space giving them agency and perspective and leading to improved caring, including a more patient-centred focus and increased presence and listening. Mindfulness appears to alter the way nurses and midwives operate within a stressful work environment, thereby changing the way the environment is experienced by themselves and, potentially, the people in their care. Conclusions Further research is needed, but current qualitative research suggests mindfulness may enable nurses and midwives to work with compassion in stressful and demanding work environments. Relevance to clinical practiceMindfulness may offer an enabling way of coping with stress, in contrast to long-standing strategies such as task-orientation and depersonalisation.
    Article · Jan 2016
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