Mindfulness physical therapy, pain management, rehabilitation

Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers: The Role of Non-Reactivity in Reducing Stress

Benzo and colleagues set out to determine whether changes in perceived stress among healthcare providers that occur with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) are associated with with changes in non-reactivity to inner experience.1 One hundred healthcare provides at a large, Midwestern teaching hospital enrolled in a work-place MBSR program. Outcome measures administered were (1)the Perceived Stress Scale-10, a 10 question measure designed to determine the degree to which situations within the last month have been considered stressful, (2)Quality of Life, a six-item measure assessing overall quality of life and specific measures of physical, social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual domains and (3)the ‘non-reactivity to inner experience’ domain from the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire.

MBSR resulted in clinically meaningful improvements on all variables from baseline to program completion. Perceived stress and non-reactivity to inner experiences improved significantly (p<0.0001) from baseline to post-intervention, with robust effect sizes. Quality of Life also improved significantly (p<0.0001), with a moderate effect size. All domains of Quality of Life improved, with the most robust improvement occurring in the emotional domain. Change in non-reactivity to inner experience was strongly associated with the change in perceived stress (p<0.0001) following MBSR participation. Authors conclude that the ability to calmly observe one’s thoughts and emotions by healthcare providers, especially in emotionally-charged circumstances, may contribute to a reduction in perceived stress.

1Benzo RP, Anderson PM, Bronars C, Clark M. Mindfulness for healthcare providers: The role of non-reactivity in reducing stress. Explore (NY). 2018 November;14(6):453–456.