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The National Academy of Medicine reports that more than 50 percent of U.S. physicians are experiencing significant symptoms of burnout, perhaps not surprising during a global pandemic. The Physicians Foundation reported that 30% of more than 2,300 physicians surveyed in 2020 cited feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose, due to changes in their practice related to the pandemic.
Clinical resilience

to reduce stress and burnout may be more crucial than ever to the well-being of healthcare professionals and to the physician-patient relationship. How is it defined and how can we harness the benefits most effectively for our healthcare workforce?

Maryanna Klatt, PhD, has some answers worth considering. Her career accomplishments in research and teaching have added to healthcare’s knowledge and understanding of evidence-based, multidisciplinary strategies to improve clinician well-being at both the individual and systems levels.

“I want to keep healthcare professionals empowered,” says Dr. Klatt, “giving them the tools and unique resources to focus on patient-centered, relationship-based care via mindful awareness, proper body alignment and worksite stress reduction techniques.” As professor of Family and Community Medicine at Ohio State University College of Medicine, adjunct professor in the College of Nursing and the College of Education and Human Ecology, Dr. Klatt’s goal has been to reduce stress and burnout and increase resilience for all healthcare workers, including students. Trained in mindfulness and a certified yoga instructor, she has combined these two approaches into an effective, convenient and practical resource for battling burnout and increasing resilience, which she defines simply as “the flexibility and adaptability to deal with changing circumstances.”

 

Mindfulness in Motion (MIM) is an eight-week, one-hour-per-week onsite series of training modules that incorporates music, context-specific

Mindfulness In Motion

yoga stretching and relaxation therapy. Dr. Klatt first implemented the program years ago as one of the university’s managed healthcare “lunch & learn” options, demonstrating a sustainable value in terms of stress reduction, resilience and healthcare cost. In one study, mindfulness interventions are shown to produce an average of $4000.00 annual cost savings, up to five years post-intervention.

Because burnout transcends job title and role, the University’s Wexner Medical Center now sponsors the Mindfulness in Motion series as a core service, easy to fit into the workday, available to all faculty, staff, residents and trainees. The program is scaled to 225 each year; there is a waiting list of 300.

Effectiveness is measured along four key pre and post-test markers: (1) burnout, (2) resilience, (3) perceived stress and (4) work engagement. MIM has demonstrated that nurses working in a surgical intensive care unit, for example, reduced their stress by 40 percent, shown in their salivary amylase, while the latest research, published in the Academic Consortium’s Global Advances, shows a 27 percent reduction in burnout for healthcare professionals, with a significant increase in work engagement.

To generate more value during the pandemic, an extensive roster of 2 to 8-minute videos was added, gaining 20,000+ views in six months. In 2021, a pilot study with the Ohio Hospital Association will look at how to train other hospitals in the Mindfulness in Motion program.

PROGRAM STARTER KIT

1. A champion for the program is critical, i.e., someone in a leadership position who understands its benefits and is committed to making it available during the workday.  At Wexner, the program champion was the chief clinical officer.
2. Determine scope in the first year and budget (about $300 per person for the 8-week program).  At Wexner, the program began with physicians; the physicians asked to include nurses.
3.  Consider logistics and the appointment of someone who will manage registration, scheduling and follow-up.  At Wexner, students help with pre- and post-program research, while logistics oversight falls to the Gabbe Health & Wellness team.

RESOURCES