, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 610–617 | Cite as

Nurse Experience of Participation in a Mindfulness-Based Self-Care and Resiliency Intervention

  • Susan SlatyerEmail author
  • Mark Craigie
  • Clare Rees
  • Sue Davis
  • Tony Dolan
  • Desley Hegney


Nursing is recognized as a stressful occupation where the incidence of negative outcomes such as burnout and high attrition has been well documented. Studies have consistently found that a higher level of resilience is related to retention in the nursing workforce. Mindfulness has been shown to lower levels of burnout and may play an important role in resilience to vicarious trauma. A brief mindful self-care and resiliency (MSCR) program aimed specifically at reducing compassion fatigue, and enhancing nurses’ resilience was piloted in a tertiary acute care hospital in Australia. This paper reports findings from the qualitative component of a mixed methods study which aimed to explore nurses’ responses to the MSCR program including its perceived feasibility, acceptability, and applicability. A sample of 20 nurses completed the MSCR program, of which 16 nurses (80% response) participated in individual unstructured interviews. Verbatim transcripts of the audio recorded interviews were subjected to thematic analysis. Five themes emerged that described participants’ perceptions of how the program benefitted nurses and its applicability in routine practice: Gaining perspective and insight; developing feelings of inner calm; taking time to care for self; feasibility and acceptability of the MSCR program; and using self-care strategies. The MSCR program was found to be feasible and acceptable from the perspective of nurse participants working in this acute care hospital. Fifteen nurses (94%) reported using mindful awareness and self-regulation after completing the program indicating that the strategies offered were practicable in this work setting.


Resilience Nursing Mindfulness Qualitative research 


Author Contributions

SS: collaborated in data collection and implementation of the intervention, led data analysis, and wrote the paper. MC: collaborated with design of the study, developed and implemented the intervention, and contributed to writing and editing the manuscript. CR: oversaw the design and execution of the study and the writing and editing of the final manuscript. SD: wrote part of the methods. TD: collaborated with participant recruitment and editing of the final manuscript. DH: led the design and execution of the study, led data collection, collaborated in data analysis, and contributed to writing and editing the final manuscript.


The study was funded internally by the study hospital.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The study was funded internally by the study hospital.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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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 Nursing and MidwiferyThe University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  5. 5.School of NursingThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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