Research

Mindfulness programs can reduce stress

A study of 323 American and Canadian emergency medical "911" dispatchers (EMDs) found that short, weekly mindfulness program successfully reduced their stress, suggesting such initiatives could be successfully applied to other challenging workplaces.

US researchers found those who participated in an online workplace mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) experienced a significant decrease in stress compared to those in the control group. They found the participants continued to show lower stress levels than when they started the seven-week program, three months after completing it.

These results show that tailored online MBIs for workers working in challenging environments are a "promising direction" for stress prevention and intervention, the researchers from Northern Illinois University and the Northwest Centre for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington say.

"As the first of the first responders, emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs) are repeatedly exposed to stressful duty-related events," they say. "The EMD work environment is typically marked by shift work schedules, mandatory overtime, rare and unpredictable breaks and an inability to ambulate while on duty." The effectiveness of the MBI in reducing stress among EMDs "indicates that similar populations may benefit in the future from such tailored interventions".
Read more:  Michelle Lilly, et al, Destress 9-1-1–an online mindfulness-based intervention in reducing stress among emergency medical dispatchers: a randomised controlled trial.(Full article) Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Volume 76, Issue 10, October 2019.  Source: OHSAlert

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