Perceptions of Mindfulness-based Approaches and the Impact on Resilience of Graduate Students and Healthcare Faculty

Taylor Neiser, Lauren Carper, Holly Reid
Master of Occupational Therapy
Advisor: Dr. Jeanne Wenos

Mindfulness is a cognitive and spiritual practice that encourages fully engaging in the moment, while acknowledging, but not fixating, on thoughts. A small portion of the population in the United States utilizes mindfulness-based practices in daily life. Mindfulness can yield psychological benefits, and, it is less known how these practices are understood and utilized in health-care fields and health-related educational programs.Therefore, the purpose of this study was threefold: to determine the value of a 10-day mindfulness-based app in alleviating stress experienced by graduate students, to determine the value of mindfulness to healthcare faculty members, and to better understand resilience among first year graduate students. Phase A consisted of a quasi-experimental pilot study on first year graduate students in an Occupational Therapy (OT) program (N=4) using a mindfulness-based meditation application called Headspace. Phase A collected data on attitudes of mindfulness, perceived stress, satisfaction with life, and resiliency at pre/post intervention. Phase B of the study gathered data on perceived stress and resilience during the Fall semester of a MOT graduate program cohort (N=22). Phase C collected quantitative data from health-related faculty regarding mindfulness practices through an online survey (N=10). Phase A results an association between post intervention resiliency improvements, decreased satisfaction with life, and a shared belief that awareness is a key aspect of mindfulness. Phase B revealed that all students agreed the semester was mentally and emotionally challenging, and half of students felt they found effective ways to cope. The most effective strategies included social engagement, entertainment, introspection, exercise, and sleep/rest. Phase C results showed 100% agreement that mindfulness-based strategies are an effective use of time and would benefit health-care professionals and their clients, however only 50% implemented mindfulness in their classrooms.


Back to Top