Inside Out-Mindfulness for Burnout
Course Length: 1.5 contact hours (.15 AOTA CEU)
PRIMARY Presentation Category: Mental Health
SECONDARY Presentation Category: Professional Issues
Intended Audience: Introductory
Mindfulness can alleviate symptoms of burnout and increases resiliency. The presentation describes burnout and offers mindfulness-based solutions and advocacy. Participants will have an opportunity to practice 4 different meditations that protect healthcare providers from the symptoms of burnout.
The ICD-11 (2011) defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress… characterized by…feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.” Burnout always includes loss of personal resiliency and an institution that fails to support that resiliency. Burnout includes a sense of unfairness in administrative structure, which contributes to workplace stress. One stress arises from organizational-level issues, including workload, productivity demands, and pressures of documentation.
Healthcare burnout prevalence worldwide is alarming. In a study of 617 hospitals in the United States, 34% of nursing staff self-identified as burned out, with 25% reporting job dissatisfaction (Aiken, 2012). Shanafelt, et al. (2015) found 54% of physicians with symptoms of burnout. Balogun, Titiloye, Balogun, Oyeyemi, and Katz, J. (2002) found that among 169 Physical Therapists (PTs) and 138 Occupational Therapists (OTs), nearly 27% surveyed had at least one indicator of burnout. Shin, McCarthy, Schmidt, Zellner, Ellerman, and Britton (2022) found that, on average, OTs experienced emotion exhaustion multiple times per month.
Burnout results in reduced quality of patient care, increased patient mortality, and lost productivity (Vella & McIver, 2019). Loss of empathy results in overall reduction in the quality of care and increases in the rate of errors (Jun, et al., 2021). Productivity declines and job satisfaction suffers, which is associated with increased absenteeism and intention to leave the position or profession. Patient satisfaction and safety declines (Jun, et al., 2021), increasing medical errors and dissatisfaction in both patients and caregivers (Colindres, 2018). Park (2021) found that engagement with the job, job satisfaction, strongly developed personal and professional identity, and the feeling of being valued strongly predicted lower burnout symptoms in OTs.
Mindfulness has been increasingly used in healthcare as an individual intervention to increase resiliency to stressful life events. It has been shown repeatedly to improve symptoms of burnout and to result in increased compassion and empathy in healthcare (e.g., Gozalo, Tarrés, Ayora, Herrero, Kareaga, & Roca, 2019; Stephenson, 2019). Mindfulness supports resilience in OTs and reduces the impact of burnout (Stephenson, 2019; Suyi, Meredith, & Khan, 2017).
This presentation provides (a) definition and description of the characteristics of workplace burnout, (b) brief description of effects of mindfulness on burnout, and (c) active experience in mindfulness practice.
- The participant will be able to describe 3 psychological effects of burnout.
2. The participant will be able to describe one mindfulness practice that can alleviate symptoms of workplace burnout.
3. The participant will be able to describe one strategy that an institution can implement to alleviate workplace burnout.
Burnout has been identified as a global epidemic in the workplace by the World Health Organization. Burnout results in reduced quality of care, loss of sense of personal worth, increased work absence, increased substance abuse, and increased risk for patient safety. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to alleviate personal symptoms of burnout, and there are institutional changes that can support healthy work environment. Implementation of personal and institutional changes leads to happier and healthier clinicians and stable work environments that support the efforts of the clinician.
Company Affiliated With: Idaho State University, Communication Sciences & Disorders
Financial Disclosure: The presenters have no financial interest in the content of their presentation.
Non-Financial Disclosure e.g. Member of; or, No Non-Financial Disclosures: Teach mindfulness courses at ISU.
Jenn Holst, AuD, is a Clinical Professor in Audiology at Idaho State University. She began her career at Idaho State University in 2005 and her professional interests have expanded throughout the years. Recently, she has explored mindfulness and mindful meditation professionally and personally. Her audiology interests include auditory evoked potentials for humans and canines, pediatrics, humanitarian services, and tinnitus. Currently, she co-teaches mindfulness classes through the Division of Health Sciences at ISU in addition to her typical teaching load and daily audiology activities.
Tony Seikel earned a Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Kansas in 1988. He was on the faculty at Washington State University from 1988 to 1998, at which time he took a position at Idaho State University in Communication Sciences & Disorders. He has served as Department Chair and as Associate Dean for the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences. At ISU, he taught neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropathology courses within speech and hearing programs. A long-time meditator, he is especially interested in the positive effects of mindfulness practices on the brain and body. He co-teaches classes for the Division of Health Sciences exploring the effects of mindfulness. He is currently participating in a two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program led by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.