Year of Publication

2022

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Erin N. Haynes, DrPH, MS

Committee Member

Richard Crosby, DrPH

Committee Member

Susan Spengler, MD, MPH

Abstract

Abstract

Recharge Moments: A Pilot Study to Improve Mindfulness in the Workplace

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the physical and mental wellness of public health professionals. Mindfulness has been shown to be a protective factor against poor physical and mental health. Few studies have investigated the effectiveness of brief mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in the workplace. This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a workplace-based intervention consisting of brief MBIs to improve physical and mental well-being.

Methods: This quasi-experimental study used a one-group pretest-posttest design. A convenience sample of volunteer participants currently employed by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department (LFCHD) completed self-administered questionnaires pre-intervention (n=90) and post-intervention (n=43) containing 10-item scales and other questions to assess quantitatively and qualitatively break-time tendencies and burnout factors. The 10-week program was designed for use during designated work hours between October 2020 and January 2021. Effect size and paired sample t-tests were used to compare the means between pre- and post-intervention, and multivariable regression models were used to analyze work location (on-site, remote, hybrid) associations with break-time tendencies, burnout, and MBI use.

Results: Participants showed improvements in break-time tendencies, specifically decreased utilization of breaks to perform work-related tasks (p=0.05) or to think about/discuss work (p=0.0016). A positive correlation was seen between employees who think about/discuss work during breaks and overall burnout score (r=.30 p=0.04). Increased program participation correlated with improved break-time habits (p

Conclusions: Implementing MBIs in the workplace may reduce burnout factors, including stress, and improve break-time tendencies. Simple physical activities (e.g., walking and stretching) may be more likely to be utilized as MBIs.

Public Health Implications: Brief MBIs may be a cost-effective way to reduce stress in the workplace.

Data Source Utilized: Self-reported data were obtained through Survey Monkey questionnaires distributed to LFCHD employees with active email accounts.

Available for download on Wednesday, October 19, 2022

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