Sharon A. Gutman, PhD, OTR, FAOTA; Martha M. Sliwinski, PhD, PT; Justin M. Laird, PhD; Jennifer Nguyen, MPH, CHES
Background: The effectiveness of a multimodal mindfulness program incorporating traditional and nontraditional forms of active and nonactive meditation practices with a sample of occupational and physical therapy students was assessed in this study.
Method: Thirty-six participants were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The 8-week mindfulness program consisted of one weekly 40-min in-person group session and four weekly 10-min online guided meditations. Pre and postintervention measures included the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Student Stress Management Scale (SSMS), mindfulness activity log, open-ended qualitative questionnaire, GPA, and counseling visit frequency.
Results: Statistically significant differences, with large effect sizes, were found between intervention and control group PSS (Z=-4.291, pd=-1.84) and SSMS (Z=-3.330, pd=-1.27) postintervention scores. Statistically significant differences, with large effect sizes, were found between intervention group pre and postmindfulness activity ratings for each week and all weeks combined (Z=-12.599, pd=1.29). Qualitative data revealed eight themes including greater sleep quality, energy levels, self-compassion, and life-work balance. No statistically significant differences were found between intervention and control group counseling visit frequency and GPA.
Conclusion: As this is preliminary data about a novel intervention with a small student sample, effectiveness of this intervention should be further explored in a replication study.
Gutman, S. A., Sliwinski, M., Laird, J., & Nguyen, J. (2020). Effectiveness of a Multimodal Mindfulness Program for Student Health Care Professionals: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 8(2), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1662