Wellness program for anesthesiology residents: a randomized, controlled trial

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2012 Oct;56(9):1130-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2012.02705.x. Epub 2012 May 9.


Background: Multiple reports illustrate the deleterious effects of stress on physicians' mental and physical health, as well as on patient care. This study evaluates the effects of a wellness program on anesthesiology residents' well-being.

Methods: Sixty residents were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) wellness intervention group, (2) no-treatment control with release time, and (3) no-treatment control with routine duties. Coping, stressors, social support, psychological symptoms, and alcohol and tobacco use were measured using a pre-test-post-test design.

Results: Residents in the wellness program reported significantly fewer stressors in their role as parent, increased social support at work, greater problem-solving coping, and less anxiety as compared with one or both of the control groups. Findings related to reducing avoidance coping and alcohol consumption also were suggestive of positive intervention effects.

Conclusions: An intervention to increase the use of active coping and social support, to reduce reliance on avoidance coping, and to decrease work and family stressors had an overall pattern of beneficial effects on residents' well-being. The importance of offering such programs during residency training, ways to strengthen intervention effectiveness, and areas for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Physicians
  • Problem Solving
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy