Mindfulness-based intervention to reduce burnout and psychological distress, and improve wellbeing in psychiatry trainees: a pilot study

Australas Psychiatry. 2019 Jun;27(3):219-224. doi: 10.1177/1039856219848838. Epub 2019 May 13.


Background: Healthcare professionals including psychiatry trainees experience high amounts of occupational stress. This pilot study aims to assess the impacts and feasibility of a mindfulness-based intervention program as an occupational intervention in a metropolitan hospital.

Method: Psychiatry trainees participated in an mindfulness-based intervention training program consisting of 1-h weekly sessions over 8 weeks. Levels of psychological distress and mindfulness were measured pre and post-intervention. Qualitative data through an open-ended feedback survey were also collected.

Results: There was an improved level of mindfulness and a decreased level of burnout among trainees post-intervention. Advantages of the program included having a compassionate facilitator and the program being tailored to healthcare staff. Limiting factors included time restraints and clinical responsibilities.

Conclusion: Psychiatry trainees can benefit from an occupational MBI program. This can positively impact their health as well as improve their work performance. A number of factors important for implementation of a mindfulness-based intervention program were also identified.

Keywords: burnout; mindfulness; occupational health; staff intervention; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Occupational Health
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychiatry / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires