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Mindfulness in the operating room

During a poster presentation at AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS, Elizabeth Miasma, MD, LLM, University of Toronto, St. Michael’s Hospital, discussed her research on mindfulness practices to optimize resident surgical performance.

During a poster presentation at AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS, Elizabeth Miasma, MD, LLM, University of Toronto, St. Michael’s Hospital, discussed her research on mindfulness practices to optimize resident surgical performance.

The project’s goal was to develop and assess a feasible and meaningful mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) curriculum for surgical residents. Investigators measured secondary outcomes pre- and post-intervention, which included surgical performance, anxiety, confidence, and burnout.

The project was carried out in an urban Canadian post-graduate ob-gyn training program. Residents participated in a 12-week MBCT curriculum for busy trainees. Miazga and her team conducted focus groups before, immediately after, and 3 months after completion of the MBCT course.

Of 61 residents, 12 enrolled in the program (20%) and 8 completed the course (67%). According to the results, residents were significantly less anxious (p<0.001) and more confident with the surgery (p=0.007) after the MBCT curriculum. According to Miazga, there were no changes in burnout or surgical evaluations. A qualitative theme that was raised was that mindfulness tools were regularly brought into the operating room and had a perceived beneficial impact by residents. Notably, the changes were seen 3 months post-intervention. The findings showed that the biggest barrier to mindfulness was time. Program participants felt that the residency program should support ongoing MBCT training to promote a positive culture shift in the department.

Miazga and her team concluded that a modified MBCT program for surgical trainees is feasible and desirable for ob-gyn residents and significantly improved anxiety and surgical confidence. Possible expansion of this study to other surgical specialties, Miazga said, are necessary and could lead to reducing barriers brought up by other study participants.

Reference

Miazga E. Patient Experiences with a Multidisciplinary Fibroid Program. Presented at: AAGL’s 51st Global Congress on MIGS; December 2, 2022; Aurora, Colorado.