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  • Determining the Feasibility and Effectiveness of Brief Online Mindfulness Training for Rural Medical Students: a Pilot Study

Determining the Feasibility and Effectiveness of Brief Online Mindfulness Training for Rural Medical Students: a Pilot Study

  • 08/08/2021
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Background: we sought to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a mindfulness training program, delivered online to medical students at a rural clinical school. Methods: an 8-week online training program was delivered to penultimate-year medical students at an australian rural clinical school during 2016. Using a mixed methods approach, we measured the frequency and duration of participants’ mindfulness meditation practice, and assessed changes in their perceived stress, self-compassion and compassion levels, as well as personal and professional attitudes and behaviours. Results: forty-seven participants were recruited to the study. 50% Of participants were practising mindfulness meditation at least weekly by the end of the 8-week program, and 32% reported practising at least weekly 4 months following completion of the intervention. There was a statistically significant reduction in participants’ perceived stress levels and a significant increase in self-compassion at 4-month follow-up. Participants reported insights about the personal and professional impact of mindfulness meditation training as well as barriers to practice. Conclusions: the results provide preliminary evidence that online training in mindfulness meditation can be associated with reduced stress and increased self-compassion in rural medical students. More rigorous research is required to establish concrete measures of feasibility of a mindfulness meditation program. 2020 The author(s).

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