Mindfulness to Combat Health Care Worker Burnout during COVID-19: Evaluating a 4-week tailored program.
During the COVID‑19 pandemic, health care workers are susceptible to virus exposure, increased workload, and moral dilemmas. As such, these essential workers are at risk for burnout. Establishing an effectiveintervention for health care workers to reduce burnout is a critical challenge faced by hospitals, includingWaypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, amidst the COVID‑19 pandemic. Mindfulness programs are known to decrease physician burnout. However, to our knowledge, this proposed research is the first to evaluate the efficacy of online mindfulness interventions for health care workers, as well as long-term maintenance effects. To-date, face-to-face delivery has been the favoured instructional method for mindfulness programs. WithCOVID-19 rendering in-person delivery impossible, Waypoint would deliver this program virtually.Specifically, leveraging its current face-to-face- mindfulness program, Waypoint will implement a 4-weekonline mindfulness training program adapted from the Mindfulness Without Borders (MWB), MindfulnessAmbassador Program, an evidence-based curriculum, rooted in social and emotional development. The online program will be delivered by certified Waypoint facilitators, and open to all health care workers across theNorth Simcoe Muskoka area. Georgian College’s Department of Research and Innovation will leverage itsdeveloped network of researchers to lead and support this project. Collaboratively, with Waypoint, researchers will examine the efficacy of the 4-week online program on mitigating burnout in health care workers andenhancing resilience, plus quantify the long-term effects in health care workers. Knowledge gained will beshared with health care leaders tasked with combatting burnout during a pandemic, and guide the delivery of wellbeing programs in the broader community. Findings will help combat COVID-19-related burnout andmental health issues, as well as springboard development of an online curriculum that can be deliveredremotely and safely during a pandemic to health care workers.