Michelle Luken, Amanda Sammons; Systematic Review of Mindfulness Practice for Reducing Job Burnout. Am J Occup Ther 2016;70(2):7002250020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.016956
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. A systematic search and critical appraisal of interdisciplinary literature was conducted to evaluate the evidence for practicing mindfulness to treat job burnout and to explore implications for occupational therapy practitioners.
METHOD. Eight articles met inclusion criteria. Each study was assessed for quality using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. We used the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research guidelines to determine strength of evidence.
RESULTS. Of the studies reviewed, participants included health care professionals and teachers; no studies included occupational therapy practitioners. Six of the 8 studies demonstrated statistically significant decreases in job burnout after mindfulness training. Seven of the studies were of fair to good quality.
CONCLUSION. There is strong evidence for the use of mindfulness practice to reduce job burnout among health care professionals and teachers. Research is needed to fill the gap on whether mindfulness is effective for treating burnout in occupational therapy practitioners.
Occupational therapy practitioners should be aware of their own risk factors and predisposition to developing burnout.
Objective measures, such as the MBI and the Professional Quality of Life Scale, should be used to assess practitioners’ own levels of burnout.
Practitioners should consider practicing mindfulness to mitigate job burnout by reading mindfulness books and websites, watching or listening to mindfulness prompts and tutorials, attending local mindfulness groups (e.g., meet-up groups, spiritual groups), and enrolling in a mindfulness course (e.g., college or continuing education offerings, MBSR program).
Research on the effectiveness of mindfulness practice for reducing burnout among occupational therapy practitioners is needed, especially as it relates to worker role participation, job performance, and client satisfaction with care outcomes.
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