Effects of Brief Group Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Stress Reduction among Medical Students in a Malaysian University
- 1.2k Downloads
It has been widely reported that medical students face considerable stress in medical school. In Malaysia, a brief (four-session, 2 h per week) group Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (b-GMBCT/Mindful-Gym) was developed to help medical students cope with stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the program in reducing stress among medical students in a Malaysian university. This was a single-group, prospective study. A total of 135 year-four medical students in psychiatric postings participated in the program (conducted in seven batches over 2 years). The following outcome variables were measured pre- and post-intervention: mindfulness, perceived stress, and general psychological distress. Intention-to-treat analyses showed significant reductions in perceived stress (M = −3.85, SD = 5.70, 95 % CI, -2.88 to −4.82, p < 0.001) and increase in mindfulness (M = 0.46, SD = 0.80, 95 % CI, 0.32 to 0.59, p < 0.001) with medium effect sizes from pre- to post-intervention. The percentage of participants who reported having significant general psychological distress (GHQ ≥ 4) reduced (p < 0.001) from 36 % (n = 48) at pre-intervention to 10 % (n = 14) after the program. Although there were significant reductions in perceived stress among Malay and non-Malay medical students, Malay students had significantly lower level of perceived stress (p = 0.03) after the program. This study found that the b-GMBCT is potentially an effective stress reduction program for medical students in Malaysia.
KeywordsMindfulness Stress Medical students Psychological distress Mental health Cognitive therapy
This study was approved by the University Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Research Ethics Committee (approval code number is NN-065-2011), and supported by the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Univerti Putra Malaysia. The authors would like to thank the medical students who participated in, and provided feedback for enhancement of the program.
- Bränström, R. R., Kvillemo, P. P., Brandberg, Y. Y., & Moskowitz, J. T. J. T. (2010). Self-report mindfulness as a mediator of psychological well-being in a stress reduction intervention for cancer patients—a randomized study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 39(2), 151–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cohen, S., & Williamson, G. (1988). Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In S. Spacapam & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
- De Vibe, M., Solhaug, I., Tyssen, R., Friborg, O., Rosenvinge, J. H., Sørlie, T., & Bjørndal, A. (2013). Mindfulness training for stress management: a randomised controlled study of medical and psychology students. BMC Medical Education, 13(1).Google Scholar
- Golberg, D. (1978). Manual of the general health questionnaire. Windsor: NFER Publishing.Google Scholar
- Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I., & Schwartz, G. E. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(1), 11–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Delta Trade Paperbacks.Google Scholar
- Lovibond, S., & Lovibond, P. (1995). Manual for the depression anxiety stress scales (2nd ed.). Sydney: Psychology Foundation.Google Scholar
- Lum, M. (2012). Good Doctoring. The Star Online.Google Scholar
- Mazwin, N. A. (2008). Fatwa Council says yoga with worshipping, chanting is prohibited. Kuala Lumpur: The Star Online.Google Scholar
- Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: a new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Shiralkar, M. T., Harris, T. B., Eddins-Folensbee, F. F., & Coverdale, J. H. (2013). A systematic review of stress-management programs for medical students. Academic Psychiatry: the Journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry, 37(3), 158–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sivanandam, H. (2011). 1,659 medical students graduated last year. The Sun Daily.Google Scholar
- Williams, M., & Penman, D. (2011). Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. London: Piatkus.Google Scholar
- Yusoff, M. S. B. (2011). Effects of a brief stress reduction intervention on medical studentss depression, anxiety and stress during stressful period. Asean Journal of Psychiatry, 12(1). http://www.aseanjournalofpsychiatry.org/online_12_1_17.htm.
- Yusoff, M. S. B., & Abdul Rahim, A. F. (2010). Impact of medical student well-being workshop on the medical student’s stress level: a prelimiary study. Asean Journal of Psychiatry, 11(1).Google Scholar
- Yusoff, M. S. B., & Esa, A. R. (2012). Stress Management for Medical Students: A Systematic Review. In Social Sciences and Cultural Studies - Issues of Language, Public Opinion, Education and Welfare.Google Scholar
- Yusoff, M. S. B., Yaacob, M. J., & Rahim, A. F. A. (2010b). The sensitivity, specificity and reliability of the Malay Version 12-Items General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in detecting distressed medical students. ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry, 11(2), 135–142.Google Scholar