Implementation of a Mindfulness-Based Crisis Intervention for Frontline Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Outbreak in a Public General Hospital in Madrid, Spain

Front Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 30;11:562578. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.562578. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: The COVID-19 outbreak is having an impact on the well-being of healthcare workers. Mindfulness-based interventions have shown effectiveness in reducing stress and fostering resilience and recovery in healthcare workers. There are no studies examining the feasibility of brief mindfulness-based interventions during the COVID-19 outbreak. Materials and Methods: This is an exploratory study with a post intervention assessment. We describe an on-site brief mindfulness intervention and evaluate its helpfulness, safety, and feasibility. Results: One thousand out of 7,000 (14%) healthcare workers from La Paz University Hospital in Madrid (Spain) participated in at least one session. One hundred and fifty out of 1,000 (15%) participants filled out a self-report questionnaire evaluating the helpfulness of the intervention for on-site stress reduction. Ninety two subjects (61%) participated in more than one session. Most of the participants were women (80%) with a mean age of 38.6 years. Almost half of the sample were nurses (46%). Sessions were perceived as being helpful with a mean rating of 8.4 on a scale from 0 to 10. Only 3 people (2%) reported a minor adverse effect (increased anxiety or dizziness). Discussion: Our data supports the utility, safety and feasibility of an on-site, brief mindfulness-based intervention designed to reduce stress for frontline health workers during a crisis. There is a need to continue testing this type of interventions, and to integrate emotion regulation strategies as an essential part of health workers' general training. Clinical Trial Registration number: NCT04555005.

Keywords: COVID-19; brief mindfulness-based intervention; compassion; general hospital; healthcare workers; implementation; mindfulness; stress.

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