General practitioner stress is a recognised problem for which
meditation is a potential intervention. The aim of this project was to
evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of an initiative
to train GPs in a set of evidence based meditation skills.
General practitioners attended a seminar comprising a 1 hour lecture
on GP wellbeing, a 45 minute session on meditation, meditation
skills practise in groups with an experienced instructor, a larger
group review and the provision of take home kits. At the seminar’s
conclusion, GPs were offered the option of meditating at home
twice daily. Measures were taken before and after the seminar and
after 2 weeks home practise. The measures included the Kessler
Psychological Distress Scale – 10 (K10), personal experience rating
by visual analogue scale, and diary card.
A total of 299 GPs attended the seminar, from which 293 provided
visual analogue scale on the day. Pre- and post-K10 data was
provided by 111 GPs. The mean pre-K10 score for these GPs was 17.2
(SD: 5.67); the post-K10 score was 14.7 (SD: 3.92), with 25.1% of the ‘at
risk’ participants moving to the ‘low risk’ category. Mean compliance
with meditation was 79.5%.
A meditation workshop for GP wellbeing is practical, feasible and
appealing to GPs. Quantitative feedback from the workshop indicates
its potential as an effective mental health promotion and prevention
A recent survey found that 60% of general practitioners wanted educational material to help in the management of stress, and that 28% of those seeking education were experiencing significant levels of stress.1
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