Resilience-Building Intervention to Relieve Stress, Burnout in Women

HealthDay News — An intervention to foster resilience among professional women at high risk for stress and burnout is beneficial, according to a study published in Women’s Health Issues.1

Suniya S. Luthar, PhD, from Arizona State University in Tempe, and colleagues randomized 40 mothers on staff at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona to 12 weekly one-hour sessions of a structured, relational supportive intervention (the Authentic Connections Groups), with protected time to attend sessions, or to 12 weekly hours of protected time to be used as desired (21 and 19 mothers, respectively).

The researchers found that for depression and global symptoms, there were significantly greater improvements for mothers in the Authentic Connections Groups than for the control condition after the intervention (P <.05). Significant differences were seen for these dimensions and most other central variables, including self-compassion, feeling loved, physical affection received, and parenting stress, by three-month follow-up, with moderate effect sizes. Significant reductions were seen in cortisol levels after the intervention and at follow-up for participants in the Authentic Connections Groups, but not the control condition.

“Facilitated colleague support groups could be a viable, low-cost, preventive intervention to mitigate burnout and distress for mothers in high-stress professional settings such as hospitals, resulting in personal benefit, greater engagement at work, and attenuated stress associated with parenting,” the authors write.

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  1. Luthar SS, Curlee A, Tye SJ, Engelman JC, Stonnington CM. Fostering Resilience among Mothers under Stress: “Authentic Connections Groups” for Medical Professionals. Womens Health Issues. 2017 [epub ahead of print] doi: