Research: NETO and COLLEAGUES,  

Listed in Issue 281

Abstract

NETO and COLLEAGUES,   1 School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil;       2 School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil. g.lucchetti@yahoo.com.br set out to verify the efficacy of teaching mindfulness techniques to large groups when made part of a required discipline at the beginning of medical training.

Background

Teaching mindfulness techniques has been used in the attempt to prevent mental health problems in medical students. Although it has already shown promising results when offered to volunteers, the use as a required strategy is still controversial.

Methodology

Design: randomized controlled trial Participants: First-year medical students at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Students were randomized into two groups: an intervention group (receiving a 6-week mindfulness protocol) and a control group (given a 6-week course containing organizational aspects of the medical school). Main measures: Intervention and control groups were compared on the levels of quality of life (WHOQOL-Bref), stress, anxiety and depression (DASS 21) and the facets of mindfulness (FFMQ) at baseline and at the end of the intervention.

Results

A total of 141 students were included in the study, 70 in the intervention group and 71 in the control group. No significant differences were found between the intervention and control groups in all mental health, quality of life, and FFMQ scores (Cohen's d = 0.01 to 0.14). Likewise, no significant gains in mental health measures, quality of life, and FFMQ were identified in the intervention group when compared with the control group (Cohen's d = 0.02 to 0.33).

Conclusion

The incorporation of a required mindfulness course for large groups in the curriculum during the first semester of medical training was not associated with an improvement on medical students' mental health and quality of life. Clinical trials registration: NCT03132597.  Comment in Capsule Commentary on Neto et al.: Effects of a Required Large-Group Mindfulness Meditation Course on First-Year Medical Students' Mental Health and Quality of Life: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Padrino SL. J Gen Intern Med; 35(3):978.  Mar 2020. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05382-z.

References

Afonso Damião Neto  1 , Alessandra Lamas Granero Lucchetti  1 , Oscarina da Silva Ezequiel  1 , Giancarlo Lucchetti  2.  Effects of a Required Large-Group Mindfulness Meditation Course on First-Year Medical Students' Mental Health and Quality of Life: a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gen Intern Med; 35(3):672-678. Mar 2020. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05284-0. Epub Aug 26 2019 .

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