UHCW Remote Mindful Practice Course for UHCW Doctors Protocol




Investigators:   Dr Petra Hanson, Dr Manuel Villarreal, Dr Majid Khan, Prof Jeremy Dale




1.      Why is mindfulness resilience training relevant to doctors?

Doctors are an occupational group who are recognised as being at risk of their mental and physical wellbeing through the pressures of work. This can adversely affect morale, job satisfaction and lead to burnout, depression and addiction. It also impacts on the quality of patient care and teamwork within the practice, and may lead to errors and complaints.

All doctors, especially in the current pandemic, are subject to a heavy workload and high expectations, and this can lead to lack of time to care for themselves. Resilience describes the ability to bounce back or recover from stress (Smith et al., 2008).  Developing and strengthening resilience may lead to enhanced quality of life and enhanced career fulfilment. Finding the time to develop and sustain resilience might feel like an additional pressure, and yet it could establish techniques that might support lifelong wellbeing and job satisfaction.

With many doctors experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of working on the front line for the last 6 months, and winter pressures likely to increase the amount of workload and stress doctors will be experiencing, an intervention to help staff cope is of vital importance.

Mindfulness is defined as a capacity for enhanced and sustained moment-to-moment awareness of one’s own mental and emotional state and being, facilitating increasing awareness and responding skillfully to mental processes that contribute to emotional distress and maladaptive behavior., as well as help.

What is the Remote Mindfulness Programme for doctors?

Several mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) have been applied in different settings. The programme we are using is the Mindful practice curriculum, based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (Kabat-Zinn et al.,1985) programme. This training is specifically adapted for doctors, and focuses on medical errors, witnessing suffering, handling conflict compassionately, wellbeing and burnout, how doctors think and professionalism.

The aim of the programme is to teach and reinforce patient-centered care using secular contemplative practices, narrative medicine, reflective questioning and appreciative inquiry. The remote course will have 6 sessions, each session lasting 90 minutes. The sessions will be delivered in a mutually agreed times, and this could be evening or weekends, in order to suit participant schedule.

In this study we will explore the feasibility of delivering a mindfulness course remotely, and assess its impact on resilience and wellbeing. This programme has already been piloted among a group of GP trainees in West Midlands (in a face to face version) and doctors participating in this programme had significantly improved wellbeing, reduced stress and increased resilience. Additionally, our team has previous experience of delivering group mindfulness sessions over zoom between April and June 2020. Participants in our zoom mindfulness sessions described it as ““Excellent meditation course. Innovative methods and mindfulness tasks that enhanced my ability to be a doctor”.

The feasibility, effectiveness and acceptability of this programme will be evaluated with a series of validated questionnaires. You will be asked to fill in the validated questionnaires at 2 different time points; before and after you participate in the course. You will be invited to a pre course chat with one of the organisers (5-10 minutes) which will help us personalise the delivery of the course, as well as explain to you how the online sessions will work.

2.      Do I have to take part?

No. It is for you to decide whether you wish to take part.  If you do decide to take part, we will ask you to sign an online informed consent and fill in the survey before and after the Mindfulness Programme.

If you decide you would like to withdraw from this study, you can do that at any point and all the collected information from you will be discarded. 

3.      What are the advantages/disadvantages of taking part?

You may gain new useful skills in resilience and overall improved wellbeing, as well as learn about mindful medical practice. Your participation will allow us to assess feasibility, acceptability and an impact of a remote Mindfulness Programme for Doctors.

4.      Will I receive any payment for taking part in the study?

You will not be reimbursed for your time in this study; however, you will be able to participate in a specifically designed Mindfulness course for doctors, delivered by internationally trained Mindfulness teachers, who are doctors practising in emergency department and primary care.

5.      Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

At the beginning of the Programme, you will be given a Unique Study Number. This will enable us to link the information from both of your surveys.  We will not use the key to re-identify you at the end of the study. This Unique Study Number will be kept with the Consent Forms and only the study team will have access to this. While it won’t be possible to keep your involvement confidential from other members of your group, the surveys that you complete will only contain your Unique Study Number.

If you agree to take part in the Mindfulness Programme, we will ask you to provide us with a contact for you (either an email address or a phone number) so that we can send you the link to the surveys as well as communicate with you regarding the course times. We will keep this for the duration of the study only.

6.      What will happen with the results of the evaluation?

We hope to disseminate the results in publications and meetings as we believe that they will be of interest nationally and internationally. Your specific personal details will not appear in the presentations or journals.

7.      Who should I contact if I wish to make a complaint?

This study is covered by the University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire Research and Development department.  If you have an issue, please contact the Chief Investigator of the study:  petra.hanson@uhcw.nhs.uk

Any complaint about the way you have been dealt with during the study or any possible harm you might have suffered will be addressed.  Please address your complaint to the person below, who is a senior UHCW official entirely independent of this study:   

Head of Research and Development

Ceri Jones


Email: ceri.jones@uhcw.nhs.uk

8.      Who is organising and funding the research?

The chief investigator is Dr Petra Hanson, Clinical Research Fellow at UHCW. Funding has been obtained from Health Education West Midlands.

9.      Who has reviewed the study?

Before any research is carried out, it has to be thoroughly checked by an ethics committee. The committee makes sure that the research is appropriate to do in accordance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) principles, regulations and guidelines. This study has been reviewed and approved by the UHCW Research and Development Committee; reference number is GF0424.


Thank you for taking time to read this sheet and for considering participating in this research study. Please ask any questions if you need to.

Dr Petra Hanson
Clinical Research Fellow
PhD Candidate, Warwick Medical School


Consent Form