Background: Residents’ well-being is essential for both the individual physician and the quality of patient care they deliver. Therefore, it is important to maintain or possibly enhance residents’ well-being. We investigated (i) the influence of mind fitness training (MFT) on quality of care-related well-being characteristics: work engagement, empathy, work satisfaction and stress perception and explored (ii) residents’ perceptions of MFT.
Methods: A multicenter study was conducted in eight Dutch teaching hospitals, from September 2012 to February 2014, using mixed methods—that is, quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Eighty-nine surgical residents were invited to participate in pre- and post-intervention questionnaire surveys. Twenty-two residents participated in MFT and were additionally invited to evaluate the training by post-intervention interviews including open questions.
Results: At baseline 22 (100%) residents in intervention group and 47 (70.2%) residents in control group, and postintervention 20 (90.9 %) residents in intervention group and 41 (66.1%) residents in control group completed the questionnaires. In intervention-group, residents’ specialty satisfaction increased by 0.23 point on 5-point Likert scale (95% CI 0.23–0.24, P < 0.001) while stress scores decreased by -0.94 point on 10-point scale (95% CI -1.77 to -0.12, P = 0.026). No substantial changes were observed in control group. Participation in MFT was positively associated with residents’ empathy (b = 7.22; 95% CI 4.33–10.11; P < 0.001) and specialty satisfaction scores (b = 0.42; 95% CI 0.18–0.65; P = 0.001). Residents positively evaluated MFT with median scores of 6.80 for training design and 7.21 for outcome (10-point scale). Residents perceived improvement in focusing skills and reported being more aware of their own state of mind and feeling calmer and more in control.
Conclusion: Mind fitness training could improve residents’ empathy, specialty satisfaction, stress perception, and focusing skills, and was positively received by surgical residents.