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8-week yoga wellness program feasible, beneficial in ob.gyn trainees



A yoga-based wellness program was associated with reductions in blood pressure and measures of depersonalization in a pilot study of ob.gyn. trainees, according to Shilpa Babbar, MD, of Saint Louis University, and associates.

The wellness program consisted of weekly 1-hour yoga classes over an 8-week period as well as weekly physical and nutritional challenges. The 29 people recruited to participate had their blood pressures, heart rates, and weights measured at baseline; they also took the abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. These tests were repeated after the 8-week study period.

Of the 29 people who were recruited, 25 completed the study and 26 attended at least one class. Those who completed the program attended a mean of 3.8 classes, and 68% of participants attended at least half of the classes; no participant attended all classes. Participation in the weekly challenges was slightly less common, with 80% of participants engaging in at least one nutrition challenge and 60% of participants engaging in at least one physical challenge.

After the program had ended, participants had a significant decrease in the depersonalization component of burnout (P = .04), anxiety (P = .02), and systolic (P = .01) and diastolic (P = .01) blood pressures. In addition, those who attended more than 50% of classes had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures, compared with those who attended less frequently (P = .02 and P = .04, respectively). Participants also expressed increased camaraderie, appreciation, motivation, and overall training experience in a postprogram survey.

Future studies providing evidence-based, multidisciplinary solutions are needed to improve not only the well-being of the caregiver, but also patient care and overall health care system performance,” the investigators concluded.

One coauthor reported consulting with Health Insights Collaborative; no other conflicts of interest were reported.

SOURCE: Babbar S et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2019 May;133(5):994-1001.

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