Background: Clinicians working in community mental health clinics are at high risk for burnout. Burnout is a problem involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Reiki is a holistic biofield energy therapy beneficial for reducing stress. The purpose of this study was to determine if 30 minutes of healing touch could reduce burnout in community mental health clinicians.
Methods: We utilized a crossover design to explore the efficacy of Reiki versus sham Reiki, a pseudo treatment designed to mimic true Reiki, as a means to reduce symptoms of burnout. Subjects were randomized to whether they started with Reiki or sham. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) and the Measure Your Medical Outcome Profile Version 2 (MYMOP-2) were used as outcome measures. Multilevel modeling was used to represent the relations among variables.
Results: Reiki was statistically significantly better than sham Reiki in reducing burnout among community mental health clinicians (p=0.011). Reiki was significant in reducing depersonalization (p<0.001), but only among single people. Reiki reduced the primary symptom on the MYMOP also only among single people (p=0.03).
Conclusions: The effects of Reiki were differentiated from sham Reiki. Reiki could be helpful in community mental health settings for the mental health of the practitioners.