Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency

Introduction

Mindful Self-Care and Resiliency (MSCR) is a psychoeducation and skills-based program developed by Dr Mark Craigie for nurses and other occupations wishing to learn skills to be more resilient to workplace stress, as well as prevent compassion fatigue and burnout. The full program in its current form consists of a 1-day workshop, followed by three 1-hour and 30 minute practice seminars that are run over three consecutive weeks following the workshop. MSCR has been delivered to nurses at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth since 2014 as part of their ongoing professional development. The intervention was initially developed and trialed in 2014 and again in 2015, with a number of other follow-up trials in different occupational groups. A number of research papers have been published that describe the outcomes of these trials. The design of MSCR was originally informed by Eric Gentry’s compassion fatigue resiliency program and Segal, Williams, and Teasdale’s (2002) original MBCT program. Since then MSCR has undergone a number of revisions to it’s content and structure, with the incorporation of some new elements from positive psychology and cognitive-behavioural intervention paradigms. The core elements of MSCR consist of education about stress, burnout, compassion fatigue and skills straining delivered in a group format. There are also 5 mindfulness seminars embedded in the full program. The program employs a learning framework referred to ARC – Awareness, Resiliency, and Caring for Self.

Background

Health professionals and nurses working in acute care hospitals and similar environments are routinely exposed to organisational change, patient distress, patient trauma, unrealistic patient expectations, and high workload stressors (Dominguez-Gomez & Rutledge, 2009; McVicar, 2003). Such stressors experienced by healthcare providers and nurses can take a high professional, physical and emotional toll, and can result in the acute syndrome known as compassion fatigue (CF: Figley, 1995, 2002). Charles Figley (1995) first defined CF as a combination of secondary traumatic stress (STS) and burnout. Compassion fatigue in this conception develops from the negative aspects of care provision, and is the consequence of the demands of the work environment and caregiving to distressed individuals. Secondary traumatic stress is an acute condition that can occur for carers and health professionals frequently exposed to the stress and trauma of others (Boyle, 2011). On the other hand, burnout is a work-related stress symptom and is associated with depersonalisation, emotional exhaustion, and an inability to work effectively (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001).

The MSCR intervention was piloted in 2014 with nurses at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth as a project associated with the International Collaboration for Workforce Resilience (ICWR) project at Curtin University. The initial findings by Craigie et al. (2016) have been promising with a larger replication controlled trial has now been published (go to journal article abstract at: 10.1007/s12671-016-0516-x). 

Most recently, MSCR is being further progressed as part of the International Collaboration of Occupational Resilience (ICOR). ICOR is an international research consortium currently based at CQ University in Queensland, with the primary objective to advance the understanding of factors impacting on occupational resilience within multiple occupational groups. These occupational groups include but are not limited to, health care workers (nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health, administrative and operational staff), teachers and first-responders. For example, a small trial with rural doctors of an abbreviated MSCR program using Zoom video conferencing has been recently published with promising results, and a larger study with university staff and academics is nearing completion (2020). The consortium is led by Professor Desley Hegney at CQUniversity. More information on ICOR can be obtained from the official ICOR website.

Certified MSCR Trainers

  • Mark Craigie (Certified), Perth, Western Australia.
  • Chris Crawford (Certified), CQUniversity, Rockhampton, Queensland.
  • AJ Glazebrook (Trainee under supervision), CQ University, Rockhampton, Queensland.

Further Information: Email Mark at Contact.

References

Craigie, M. A., Slatyer, S., Hegney, D., Osseiran-Moisson, R., Gentry, E., et al. (2016). A pilot evaluation of a mindful self-care and resiliency (MSCR) intervention for nurses. Mindfulness, DOI: 10.1007/s12671-016-0516-x.

Rees, C. S., Craigie, M. A., Slatyer, S., Crawford, C., Bishop, M., McPhee, E., & Hegney, D. G. (2020). Pilot study of the effectiveness of a Mindful Self‐Care and Resiliency program for rural doctors in Australia. Australian Journal of Rural Health.

Slatyer, S., Craigie, M., Heritage, B. et al. (2018a). Evaluating the effectiveness of a brief mindful self-care and resiliency (MSCR) intervention for nurses: a controlled trial. Mindfulness, 9: 534. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0795-x

Slatyer, S., Craigie, M., Rees, C. et al. (2018b). Nurse experience of participation in a mindfulness-based self-care and resiliency intervention. Mindfulness, 9: 610. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0802-2