Intern Mental Health Interventions
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Purpose of Review
Intern year is a uniquely stressful transition with interns facing higher rates of major depression compared with the general population. While burnout and depression during intern year are well documented, we aimed to examine which interventions have been implemented to prevent these issues and to consider the effectiveness of these interventions.
Based on a review of recent literature, we located very few studies focusing on interventions for resident mental health and even fewer focusing on interns specifically. We found that such studies vary in design with most using online or app-based tools and others incorporating in-person workshops. There is significant variation among the scales used and the primary outcomes in each study.
While most studies demonstrate a modest reduction in depression and burnout with implementation of some form of mindfulness practice, many were unable to reach a significant level of statistical power. More research is needed to determine generalizable findings.
KeywordsIntern Burnout Wellness Intervention Physician mental health
The editors would like to thank Dr. Marcia Morris for taking the time to review this manuscript.
Compliance With Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Sarah Bommarito and Matthew Hughes each declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
- 6.• Yang E, Schamber E, Meyer RML, Gold JI. Happier healers: randomized controlled trial of mobile mindfulness for stress management. J Altern Complement Med. 2018;24(5):505–13 Although focusing on medical students, this model could easily be translated to interns, and allows for flexibility.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 7.• Ireland MJ, Clough B, Gill K, Langan F, O'Connor A, Spencer L. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness to reduce stress and burnout among intern medical practitioners. Med Teach. 2017;39(4):409–14 An in-person intervention centered on interns that seems feasible to replicate.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.• Thimmapuram J, Pargament R, Sibliss K, Grim R, Risques R, Toorens E. Effect of heartfulness meditation on burnout, emotional wellness, and telomere length in health care professionals. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect. 2017;7(1):21–7 This paper used a novel approach with an objective measure, differentiating itself from others.CrossRefGoogle Scholar