Academic Physician Burnout and Transcendental Meditation

2018-10-25 13:22:24 | BioPortfolio


This research study will examine the effects of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on academic physician burnout, depression, insomnia, perceived stress, and resilience through a mixed methods approach.


Burnout is pervasive among physicians in academia, with costly ramifications for individuals and institutions ($100,000-900,000/faculty replacement). The purpose of this study is to assess, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the effects of the TM technique as an intervention in lowering burnout, depression, perceived stress, insomnia, and to increase resilience in academic physicians.

Research Study Hypotheses Quantitative hypothesis #1: Regular practice of the TM technique by academic physicians for 4 months will reduce symptoms of burnout compared to academic physicians not practicing the TM technique Quantitative hypothesis #2: Regular practice of the TM technique by academic physicians for 4 months will reduce symptoms of perceived stress, insomnia, depression and increase resilience compared to academic physicians not practicing the TM technique.

Qualitative research questions:

1. What are the daily challenges faced by academic physicians and how do they view their ability to handle them?

2. Does regular practice of the TM technique improve their perception of their quality of life with regards to the challenges they face?

Sample Size Estimate There is an effect size of .6225 when using changed scores for treatment and control groups, and their respective standard deviations, from a recent study using the TM technique as the intervention and measuring burnout using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (Elder, 2014). Applying Cohen's power tables for p<.05 to this effect size the number of subjects per group needed is 12. Recruiting 20 subjects per group will allow for 20% attrition.

Study Design Overview The research design is a mixed methods randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving both a treatment and wait-list control group. Quantitative testing will be done three times: pretest followed by posttests at one and four months. The one month posttest is to assess any short term changes as well as a precaution against possible dropouts of either group before the four-month posttest. All subjects will be required to sign an informed consent form prior to participation.

Qualitative data will be gathered through two individual 30-minute semi-structured interviews: the first (entry) before randomization, at the time of the quantitative pretest; and the second (exit) at the 4-month posttest.

The independent variable is instruction in the TM technique, which includes introductory and follow-up sessions to be taught to the treatment group following their pretest and entry interview.

Quantitative data will be analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Qualitative data will be analyzed using a phenomenological approach of identifying main themes and sub themes from the pre and post intervention interviews. The interviews will be the only source of qualitative data. Separate analysis and discussions of quantitative and qualitative data will be merged together to examine their convergence and divergence.

The Institutional Review Board at Maharishi University of Management approved the study in March 2015 followed by the Institutional Review Board at Loyola University Chicago approval in July 2015.

The goal of this study is to see if the intervention alters quantitative measurements of burnout and to understand what kinds of challenges academic physicians face in their daily lives, how they view their ability to handle them, and whether either is transformed during the study period. Although much research has shown symptoms of burnout are largely present among physicians, and a few studies showed promising antidotes, none to date have made use of both quantitative and qualitative data in exploring an intervention for lowering burnout in academic physicians.

This study will employ the advanced convergent mixed methods design which entails collecting both quantitative and qualitative data at pre-and posttest intervals, while adding the advanced feature of an intervention following pretesting.

Study Protocol

- The researcher will oversee all test administration and tracking of subject compliance.

- All study related paperwork and online tests will be managed under appropriate institutional protocol for anonymity and confidentiality. Data will be securely stored appropriately on-line and the hard copies of the consent form kept under lock in the Vice-Dean of Education's office. To further protect the identity of reporting physicians, the identity of the medical school is, and will be, masked in this dissertation and further papers based on this dissertation.

Adverse event reporting: If an adverse event is reported through testing or interviews (and it is a recent issue) it will be reported to the Principal Investigator who will speak to this potential study participant and recommend that they be seen in Employee Health. If the adverse event was suicidal ideation they would be excluded from the study until such time the event was resolved.

Study Design


Burnout, Professional


Transcendental Meditation technique


Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
United States




Maharishi University of Management

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-10-25T13:22:24-0400

Clinical Trials [757 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Transcendental Meditation and Reduced Trauma Symptoms in Women Inmates

The pilot study investigates the potential benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program in reducing trauma, including PTSD, in female prisoners. Subjects will be randomly assigned to ...

Transcendental Meditation and Reduced Trauma Symptoms in Women Inmates

This pilot study investigated the trauma reducing effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on female prisoners The study was conducted over the 4 month period and measured total tr...

Meditation and Emotional Intelligence

This randomized controlled trial evaluated the impact of the Transcendental Meditation program on emotional intelligence and perceived stress in supervisors and administrative staff in a p...

Wellness Tool in Anesthesia Providers

This study will examine the effects of Isha Kriya meditation on stress and burnout among healthcare providers.

A Clinical Trial of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Program on Blood Pressure, Psychological Distress, and Coping

The purpose of this trial is to show that the Transcendental Meditation program can decrease blood pressure in young adults (college students) and is associated with decreased psychologica...

PubMed Articles [5588 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Reading between the lines for a solution to burnout.

Physician assistants (PAs) have historically reported high levels of professional satisfaction, but emerging research indicates increasing levels of professional burnout. This article explores burnout...

Exploration of the relationship between stigma and burnout among Greek nurses in dementia care.

To investigate possible correlations between stigma and burnout of nurses and non-graduate professional caregivers of elderly with dementia in nursing homes. Research on dementia stigma in healthcare ...

Association between workplace bullying and burnout, professional quality of life, and turnover intention among clinical nurses.

Workplace bullying experienced by clinical nurses is associated with burnout, a factor that threatens the quality of nursing care and patient safety. This study examined the association of workplace b...

Burnout and professional quality of life among Israeli dentists: the role of sensory processing sensitivity.

Dentistry is a stressful and exhausting profession with high levels of burnout. Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a basic personality trait characterised by a gradient of sensitivity to both int...

Compassion Meditation Training for Hospital Chaplain Residents: A Pilot Study.

This study examines the effectiveness of incorporating compassion meditation training into a clinical pastoral education (CPE) curriculum to enhance compassion satisfaction and reduce burnout among ho...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

An excessive stress reaction to one's occupational or professional environment. It is manifested by feelings of emotional and physical exhaustion coupled with a sense of frustration and failure.

A state of consciousness in which the individual eliminates environmental stimuli from awareness so that the mind can focus on a single thing, producing a state of relaxation and relief from stress. A wide variety of techniques are used to clear the mind of stressful outside interferences. It includes meditation therapy. (Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary, 4th ed)

The inability of a health professional to provide proper professional care of patients due to his or her physical and/or mental disability.

Committees of professional personnel who have responsibility for determining policies, procedures, and controls related to professional matters in health facilities.

The principles of proper conduct concerning the rights and duties of the professional, relations with patients or consumers and fellow practitioners, as well as actions of the professional and interpersonal relations with patient or consumer families. (From Stedman, 25th ed)

More From BioPortfolio on "Academic Physician Burnout and Transcendental Meditation"

Quick Search

Relevant Topics

Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical the...

Public Health
Alternative Medicine Cleft Palate Complementary & Alternative Medicine Congenital Diseases Dentistry Ear Nose & Throat Food Safety Geriatrics Healthcare Hearing Medical Devices MRSA Muscular Dyst...

Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders disrupt sleep during the night, or cause sleepiness during the day, caused by physiological or psychological factors. The common ones include snoring and sleep apnea, insomnia, parasomnias, sleep paralysis, restless legs syndrome, circa...

Searches Linking to this Trial