Mindful Mentors: Is a Longitudinal Mind–Body Skills Training Pilot Program Feasible for Pediatric Cardiology Staff?

Vicki A. Freedenberg, Ji Ji Jiang, Carla A. Cheatham, Erica M.S. Sibinga, Cynthia A. Powell, Gerard R. Martin, David M. Steinhorn, Kathi J. Kemper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Stress and burnout among medical professionals are common and costly, placing professionals, organizations, and patients at risk. Objectives: To determine feasibility and acceptability of a longitudinal mind–body skills training initiative to help staff decrease stress and burnout, improve well-being, and empower them to utilize basic mindfulness methods with coworkers, patients, and families. Methods: Prospective cohort, mixed methods approach. Nurses, doctors, technicians, social workers, child life specialists were eligible to participate. The 12-month curriculum consisted of 16 hours of intensive education/practice over 2 days, with training in mindfulness skills, self-compassion, nonviolent communication, overcoming barriers to practice, and mindful listening/speaking, followed by monthly 1 hour booster/debriefing sessions. Results: A total of 37 staff participated (RN = 18, MD = 5, Technician = 6, Social Worker = 3, Child life = 3, others = 2) in the initial training, and 24 (65%) completed the 3- and 12-month follow-up surveys. Compared with pretraining scores, there were significant improvements 3 to 12 months after the initial training in stress (P <.0001), distress (P ≤.04), anxiety (P =.01), self-efficacy in providing non-drug therapies (P <.0001), mindfulness (P =.002), burnout (P <.0001), and confidence in providing compassionate care (P <.0001). In addition, 25 (67%) participants initiated projects incorporating what they learned into staff/patient wellness activities. Conclusion: This longitudinal pilot program was feasible and was associated with improvements in measures of psychological well-being over the 12-month intervention. The innovative approach of training participants to teach basic techniques to coworkers and other staff can increase the impact of this program beyond any individual participant. Future research will investigate the aspects of implementation and potential effects on patient care and experience.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Advances In Health and Medicine
StatePublished - 2020


  • anxiety
  • burnout
  • clinicians
  • compassion
  • mindfulness
  • pediatric cardiology
  • stress
  • well-being


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