Evaluating Mind Fitness Training and Its Potential Effects on Surgical Residents' Well-Being: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study

S. S. Lases*, M. J. M. H. Lombarts, Irene A. Slootweg, Onyebuchi A. Arah, E. G. J. M. Pierik, Erik Heineman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background Residents' well-being is essential for both the individual physician and the quality of patient care they deliver. Therefore, it is important to maintain or possibly enhance residents' well-being. We investigated (i) the influence of mind fitness training (MFT) on quality of care-related well-being characteristics: work engagement, empathy, work satisfaction and stress perception and explored (ii) residents' perceptions of MFT.

Methods A multicenter study was conducted in eight Dutch teaching hospitals, from September 2012 to February 2014, using mixed methods-that is, quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Eighty-nine surgical residents were invited to participate in pre- and post-intervention questionnaire surveys. Twenty-two residents participated in MFT and were additionally invited to evaluate the training by post-intervention interviews including open questions.

Results At baseline 22 (100 %) residents in intervention group and 47 (70.2 %) residents in control group, and post-intervention 20 (90.9 %) residents in intervention group and 41 (66.1 %) residents in control group completed the questionnaires. In intervention-group, residents' specialty satisfaction increased by 0.23 point on 5-point Likert scale (95 % CI 0.23-0.24, P <0.001) while stress scores decreased by -0.94 point on 10-point scale (95 % CI -1.77 to -0.12, P = 0.026). No substantial changes were observed in control group. Participation in MFT was positively associated with residents' empathy (b = 7.22; 95 % CI 4.33-10.11; P <0.001) and specialty satisfaction scores (b = 0.42; 95 % CI 0.18-0.65; P = 0.001). Residents positively evaluated MFT with median scores of 6.80 for training design and 7.21 for outcome (10-point scale). Residents perceived improvement in focusing skills and reported being more aware of their own state of mind and feeling calmer and more in control.

Conclusion Mind fitness training could improve residents' empathy, specialty satisfaction, stress perception, and focusing skills, and was positively received by surgical residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2016



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