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Role of Resilience in Mindfulness Training for First Responders

Abstract

First responders are exposed to critical incidents and chronic stressors that contribute to a higher prevalence of negative health outcomes compared to other occupations. Psychological resilience, a learnable process of positive adaptation to stress, has been identified as a protective factor against the negative impact of burnout. Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training (MBRT) is a preventive intervention tailored for first responders to reduce negative health outcomes, such as burnout. This study is a secondary analysis of law enforcement and firefighter samples to examine the mechanistic role of psychological resilience on burnout. Results indicated that changes in resilience partially mediated the relationship between mindfulness and burnout and that increased mindfulness was related to increased resilience (b = 0.41, SE = 0.11, p < .01), which in turn was related to decreased burnout (b = −0.25, SE = 0.12, p = .03). The bootstrapped confidence interval of the indirect effect did not contain zero [95% CI; −0.27, −0.01], providing evidence for mediation. Limitations and implications are discussed.

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JK participated in data analysis, writing, and coordination of efforts. AB assisted with writing and editing of manuscript. MC designed and conducted study and assisted with writing and editing. SB participated in design, writing, and editing of study. MH conducted data analysis and participated in writing.

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Correspondence to Joshua Benjamin Kaplan.

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Kaplan, J.B., Bergman, A.L., Christopher, M. et al. Role of Resilience in Mindfulness Training for First Responders. Mindfulness 8, 1373–1380 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0713-2

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • First responders
  • Resilience
  • Burnout
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Firefighters