Context: There is strong evidence in the literature that the cultivation of mindfulness through programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has a profound impact on perceived stress for healthcare providers. The mechanism of the latter association is still being studied. However, it has been hypothesized that in particular, the cultivation of non-reactivity as a mindfulness skill may be particularly associated with the salutary effect of MBSR to reduce stress in health care providers even if adjusted for the benefit on quality of life gained after MBSR. The latter may represent important mechanistic information to build customized mindfulness interventions for health care providers.
Objective: Determine whether the change in non-reactivity to inner experience after MBSR is associated with the adjusted changes in perceived stress after MBSR.
Design: a Cross-sectional study.
Setting: A large, Midwestern teaching hospital.
Participants: 100 health care providers.
Intervention: 8-week standard MBSR course.
Main outcome measures: Perceived Stress Scale-10, Linear Analog Scale Assessment to measure Quality of life, and the mindfulness domain non-reactivity to inner experience was assessed by the non-reactivity subscale of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. All measures were administered at baseline and completion of the intervention.
Results: The change from baseline to completion of MBSR was significant for all variables, with moderate-to-robust effect sizes. There was a significant negative correlation between non-reactivity and perceived stress both at baseline (p < 0.0001) and when comparing changes in scores from baseline to post-intervention (p < 0.0001). Change in non-reactivity to inner experience was robustly associated with the change in perceived stress (p < 0.0001) after MBSR (97% in 5000 bootstrapped models).
Conclusion: Non-reactivity to inner experience is a key aspect of MBSR that is independently associated with a change in perceived stress in health care providers.
Keywords: Healthcare providers; MBSR; Mindfulness; Non-reactivity; Perceived stress.
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