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The effect of Mind Body Medicine course on medical student empathy: a pilot study.

by Kumar, Anagha.
Citation: Medical Education Online. 21(1):31196, 2016 Jan.Journal: Medical education onlineMH - Depression/px [Psychology]MH - *EmpathyMH - Health StatusMH - HumansMH - *Mind-Body Therapies/mt [Methods]MH - MindfulnessMH - Pilot ProjectsMH - Prospective StudiesMH - Stress, Psychological/px [Psychology]MH - *Students, Medical/px [Psychology].Published: 2016ISSN: 1087-2981.Full author list: Chen AK; Kumar A; Haramati A.UI/PMID: 28165936.Institution(s): MedStar Health Research InstituteActivity type: Journal Article.Medline article type(s): Journal ArticleDigital Object Identifier: https://dx.doi.org/10.3402/meo.v21.31196 (Click here) Abbreviated citation: Med. educ. online. 21(1):31196, 2016 Jan.Abstract: Introduction Empathy among medical practitioners has been shown to affect patient care and outcomes. Factors such as stress and depression are known to have a negative impact on medical student empathy. Approaches such as mindfulness, meditation, and other mind-body techniques can enhance empathy and reverse burnout symptoms. In the present study, we evaluated impact of Mind Body Medicine (MBM) course on perceived stress and empathy on first-year medical students. Methods Thirteen first-year medical students in total self-selected into MBM (experimental) and seven non-MBM (control) groups completed a prospective, pre- and post-test analysis, using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy - Students (JSPE-S), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Personal Health Questionnaire (PHQ) to evaluate empathy, stress, and depression, respectively. Results Our results showed an increase in stress, as well as a decrease in empathy, in both MBM and non-MBM groups throughout the course of the study. Conclusion Our study demonstrated that the inverse relationship increased stress and decreased empathy among first-year medical students and participation in the MBM course did not attenuate the changes. However, a statistically significant rise in the depression score in the non-MBM group was not observed in the MBM group.

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