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J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 2(6): e12619, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589123


OBJECTIVE: Emergency clinicians face elevated rates of burnout that result in poor outcomes for clinicians, patients, and health systems. The objective of this single-arm pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of a Transcendental Meditation (TM) intervention for emergency clinicians during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to explore the potential effectiveness in improving burnout, sleep, and psychological health. METHODS: Emergency clinicians (physicians, nurses, and physician-assistants) from 2 urban hospitals were recruited to participate in TM instruction (8 individual or group in-person and remote sessions) for 3 months. Session attendance was the primary feasibility outcome (prespecified as attending 6/8 sessions), and burnout was the primary clinical outcome. Participant-reported measures of feasibility and validated measures of burnout, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and stress were collected at baseline and the 1-month and 3-month follow-ups. Descriptive statistics and linear mixed-effects models were used. RESULTS: Of the 14 physicians (46%), 7 nurses (22%), and 10 physician-assistants (32%) who participated, 61% were female (n = 19/32). TM training and at-home meditation practice was feasible for clinicians as 90.6% (n = 29/32) attended 6/8 training sessions and 80.6% self-reported meditating at least once a day on average. Participants demonstrated significant reductions in burnout (P < .05; effect sizes, Cohen's d = 0.43-0.45) and in symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbance (P values < .001; Cohen's d = 0.70-0.87). CONCLUSION: TM training was feasible for emergency clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and led to significant reductions in burnout and psychological symptoms. TM is a safe and effective meditation tool to improve clinicians' well-being.

Pain ; 162(2): 619-629, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940829


ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact, including on individuals with chronic pain. The social distancing policies necessary to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have involved increased levels of social isolation. This cross-sectional survey study examined pain severity and interference among individuals with chronic pain during an early phase of social distancing mandates and identified characteristics of individuals who were most impacted. Approximately 4 to 8 weeks after social distancing mandates commenced in the state of Massachusetts, 150 patients with fibromyalgia, chronic spine, and postsurgical pain completed demographic, pain, social distancing, and validated psychosocial questionnaires. Patients self-reported an overall significant increase in pain severity and pain interference, compared with before social distancing, although both pain severity and interference were quite variable among individuals under conditions of social distancing. Several demographic, socioeconomic, and psychosocial factors were associated with greater pain severity and interference during social distancing. Multivariable linear regression demonstrated that female sex, nonwhite race, lower education, disability, fibromyalgia, and higher pain catastrophizing were independently associated with greater pain severity, while female sex and pain catastrophizing were independently associated greater pain interference. The findings suggest that individual differences among patients with chronic pain should be considered in the planning, development, and prioritization of interventions to improve pain care and to prevent worsening of symptoms during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Activities of Daily Living , Back Pain/physiopathology , COVID-19 , Catastrophization/physiopathology , Chronic Pain/physiopathology , Fibromyalgia/physiopathology , Pain, Postoperative/physiopathology , Physical Distancing , Adult , African Americans , Back Pain/psychology , Catastrophization/psychology , Chronic Pain/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disabled Persons , Educational Status , Female , Fibromyalgia/psychology , Humans , Linear Models , Male , Massachusetts , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Pain Measurement , Pain, Postoperative/psychology , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Sex Factors , Social Isolation/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
J Interprof Care ; 34(5): 711-715, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-800635


The COVID-19 pandemic has instigated significant changes for health care systems. With clinician burnout rising, efforts to promote clinician resilience are essential. Within this quality improvement project, an interprofessional debriefing program (Brigham Resilience in COVID-19-pandemic Emergency Forum-BRIEF) was developed within two emergency departments (EDs). An interprofessional group of ED providers led optional, nightly debriefings using a web-based portal to connect with ED clinicians for six weeks. In total, 81 interprofessional staff participated in nightly debriefings with a 47% attendance rate. On average, three participants attended the BRIEF nightly (range = 2-8) to discuss the challenges of social distancing, scarce resources, high acuity, clinician burnout and mental health. Participation increased as rates of COVID-19 positive patients rose. Debriefing leaders provided ED leadership with summaries of clinician experiences and suggestions for improvements. Feedback supported quality improvement initiatives within the ED and greater mental health support for staff. Clinicians and administrators provided positive feedback regarding the program's impact on clinician morale, and clinical processes that promoted the safety and quality of patient care. Optional debriefing with receptive departmental leadership may be a successful tool to support clinicians and hospitals during critical events.

Coronavirus Infections , Emergency Service, Hospital , Group Processes , Internet , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Resilience, Psychological , Burnout, Professional/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Leadership , Problem Solving