Do Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Predict Burnout in Pediatric Residents?

Kathi J. Kemper, Hilary McClafferty, Paria M. Wilson, Janet R. Serwint, Maneesh Batra, John D. Mahan, Charles J. Schubert, Betty B. Staples, Alan Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose Burnout symptoms are common among health professionals. Gaps remain in understanding both the stability of burnout and compassion over time and relationships among burnout, self-compassion, stress, and mindfulness in pediatric residents. Method The authors conducted a prospective cohort study of residents at 31 U.S. residency programs affiliated with the Pediatric Resident Burnout-Resilience Study Consortium. Residents completed online cross-sectional surveys in spring 2016 and 2017. The authors assessed demographic characteristics and standardized measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, stress, burnout, and confidence in providing compassionate care. Results Of 1,108 eligible residents, 872 (79%) completed both surveys. Of these, 72% were women. The prevalence of burnout was 58% and the level of mindfulness was 2.8 in both years; levels of stress (16.4 and 16.2) and self-compassion (37.2 and 37.6) were also nearly identical in both years. After controlling for baseline burnout levels in linear mixed-model regression analyses, mindfulness in 2016 was protective for levels of stress and confidence in providing compassionate care in 2017. Self-compassion in 2016 was protective for burnout, stress, and confidence in providing compassionate care in 2017; a one-standard-deviation increase in self-compassion score was associated with a decrease in the probability of burnout from 58% to 48%. Conclusions Burnout and stress were prevalent and stable over at least 12 months among pediatric residents. Mindfulness and self-compassion were longitudinally associated with lower stress and greater confidence in providing compassionate care. Future studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of training that promotes mindfulness and self-compassion in pediatric residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-884
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume94
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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