Due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, many people are likely experiencing increased stress. The well-being of physicians in training may be significantly impacted by this pandemic. Meditation is a self-management strategy that can be utilized by anyone to assist with the management of stress. Meditation mobile applications, such as the "Calm" app, can be used to help manage stress, especially during this uncertain time. The investigators propose a prospective evaluation of perceived stress, anxiety, burnout and sleep disturbance in the house staff at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, with the use of the mobile meditation app, "Calm." The investigatros additionally want to evaluate the feasibility of using the mobile app, including looking at adherence to use of the app and physician satisfaction with use of the app.
The COVID-19 global pandemic is significantly impacting healthcare providers and presumably affecting their stress level as they deal with this time of uncertainty. The COVID-19 public health crisis requires the full resources and attention of healthcare systems. This has led to several healthcare changes that affect physicians in training, including changes to rotations and schedules, risks of infection exposure to themselves or their families, and the unknown impacts this may have on their residency and fellowship experiences. These changes are likely impacting their stress, health, and well-being. Physician burnout is major concern for the medical community and likely to be further impacted by the current pandemic. Evidence-based interventions for stress include cognitive behavior therapy, although this can be time consuming, requires the need for specialized providers, and is not feasible for everyone during this COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacotherapy can be used, including antidepressants and anxiolytics, however they have inherent limitations such as side effects, tolerance, and interactions that limit their use. Consumer based mobile applications (apps) may help individuals with self-management strategies for stress. Mindfulness meditation is one type of self-management strategy and is the practice of moment-to-moment awareness in which the person purposefully focuses on the present without judgement. "Calm" is a mobile app that offers a range of meditation lessons, sleep stories (bed-time stories for grown-ups), sleep music, and nature sounds with modules that vary in length, instruction, and content. Few studies on the use of "Calm" exist and include a randomized controlled trial evaluating its affect to decrease stress among college students and a descriptive study evaluating cancer patient's perceptions of the app. There is evidence to support the use of similar apps in resident physicians. A pilot study assessing the effects of a meditation app on resident wellness suggested both the feasibility and efficacy of such an intervention. During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile apps such as Calm may be potentially beneficial to help with stress in house staff physicians, although this requires further investigation.
Device: Calm Meditation App
Meditation is a self-management strategy that can be utilized by anyone to assist with the management of stress. Meditation mobile applications, such as the "Calm" app, can be used to help manage stress, especially during this uncertain time.
- All resident and fellow physicians at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, 1111 E. McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006.
- Non-resident and fellow physicians at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, 1111 E. McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006.
Banner University Medical Center Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona, 85006
Mike Foley, MD
Chair - BUMCP