, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 534–546 | Cite as

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Brief Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency (MSCR) Intervention for Nurses: a Controlled Trial

  • Susan Slatyer
  • Mark Craigie
  • Brody Heritage
  • Sue Davis
  • Clare Rees


It has been well documented that workplace stress can have a negative impact on nurse well-being and productivity, and can result in the syndrome of compassion fatigue, which is comprised of secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Identifying effective and practical workplace interventions to help improve nurse resilience to prevent compassion fatigue is therefore a high priority. This study trialled the effectiveness of a brief mindful self-care and resiliency intervention for nurses working in an Australian tertiary hospital compared to nurses in a wait list control condition. A total of 91 nurses participated in the study (n = 65 intervention condition; n = 26 control condition). The intervention involved a 1-day workshop followed by three weekly mindfulness practice sessions. Nurses completed measures of burnout, secondary traumatic stress, negative mood, self-compassion, compassion satisfaction, subjective quality of life and general self-efficacy at pre-test, post-test and 6-month follow-up. Analysis revealed that compared to the control group, the intervention group had significant reductions in burnout and depressed mood upon completion of the MSCR. Follow-up data indicated that these reductions persisted at 6-month post-MSCR for the intervention group. While interactions between intervention and control conditions for other measures failed to reach statistical significance, follow-up analysis revealed significant improvements in compassion satisfaction, self-compassion and subjective quality of life for nurses completing the intervention. As a whole, the findings demonstrate that a brief mindfulness-based self-care intervention is effective at improving the emotional functioning of nurses.


Compassion fatigue Nurses Burnout Mindfulness Resilience Intervention 



We acknowledge the work of Ms. Rebecca Osseiran-Moisson for her assistance with the data entry and analysis. We also wish to thank the Nursing Executive Committee at the study hospital who funded the study and the International Collaboration for Workforce Resilience (ICWR1). Finally, we thank the nurses who participated in the study.

Author Contributions

SS: designed and executed the study, led recruitment and data collection and wrote the paper. MC: collaborated with design of the study, developed and implemented the intervention and contributed to writing and editing the manuscript. BH: analysed the data and wrote part of the results. SD: collaborated with participant recruitment and delivery of the intervention and wrote part of the methods. CR: oversaw the design and execution of the study and the writing and editing of the final manuscript.


The study was funded internally by the study hospital.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval to conduct the study was obtained from the study hospital (HREC No: 2013/248) and supporting university (HR08/2014). The study was therefore performed in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Nursing ResearchSir Charles Gairdner HospitalPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of Nursing, Midwifery and ParamedicineCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Psychology and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of Psychology and Exercise ScienceMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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