A Quality Improvement Project Using a Mindfulness Application to Help Combat the Effects of Burnout among Primary Care Healthcare Professionals

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The Ohio State University

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The U. S. Surgeon General published an urgent advisory on healthcare worker burnout, as more than half of nurses, physicians, and mental health workers were experiencing burnout (USDHHS, 2022). The literature identified an intervention that demonstrated effectiveness to decrease burnout among healthcare professionals, using online mindfulness strategies, such as Headspace®, to help combat stress and burnout. The project purpose was to decrease stress and burnout in healthcare professionals working in a primary care FQHC office setting by supporting their use of mindfulness. The design of this project was for participants to utilize at least one activity within Headspace® daily for eight weeks. Participants completed pre and post surveys to compare data for clinical significance based on responses to the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and single-item burnout questionnaire. The project population consisted of 26 health professionals working within a rural Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) primary care office setting. The single item burnout question revealed that the average pre-implementation response was 3.7 out of 6 with a post-implementation average of 2.5 out of 6 (lower value indicates improvement). Comparing the weighted average for each question within the PSS-10 indicates that there was improvement in outcomes on the post-survey when compared to presurvey responses. Project findings indicate a positive clinical significance with respect to using a mindfulness app on employees' perception of work burnout and stress. Post-implementation data analysis and interpretation indicates that implementation and utilization of an online mindfulness-based application can help improve stress and decrease burnout for healthcare employees working in primary care.



burnout, Federally Qualified Health Center, primary care, healthcare professionals, online mindfulness application, Headspace, stress