Mindfulness Meditation Program Effect on Nurses Stress Levels During a Pandemic

Working with patients demonstrating increased mortality risks is a challenge for medical practitioners. Such an environment proves to be highly stressful, leading to negative mental consequences. Rabei et al. (2020) state that nurses rank among the most vulnerable professional groups due to the increased occupational stress. As recent events have demonstrated, difficult periods, such as global pandemics, serve as an additional stress catalyst. Therefore, it is important to find an effective instrument that would allow nurses to alleviate stress and improve their quality of life. Heckenberg et al. (2018) refer to mindfulness-based meditation practices as a promising option capable of reducing the effects of workplace-related stress. Accordingly, this method presents an area of interest for nurses, which requires a more in-depth study of its effect on their mental conditions. The objective is to see whether a mindfulness meditation program, compared to no intervention, can reduce the level of work stress among nurses who care for high morbidity/mortality patients during periods of pandemics in two months.

The proposed study will implement an evidence-based approach in order two compare two scenarios within a two-month period. The effect of a mindfulness meditation program will be examined in contrast with a lack of intervention. Registered nurses facing increased stress levels due to the nature of their work with high-morbidity patients will be the respondents in the study. Their experience with both options will serve as the main source of evidence on which the overall conclusion will be based. The data will be collected through an Expanded Nursing Stress Scale survey. This format will allow for a correct evaluation of both study groups, showing which one reports lower stress levels. Overall, the study has the potential to provide a valuable reference point for future work on nursing stress management.

References

Rabei, S., Mourad, G., & El Din Hamed, A. (2020). Work stress and sleep disturbances among internship nursing students. Middle East Current Psychiatry, 27.

Heckenberg, R. A., Eddy, P., Kent, S., & Wright, B. J. (2018). Do workplace-based mindfulness meditation programs improve physiological indices of stress? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 114, 62-71.