Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Doctors and nurses report having high burnout. It can not only damage their own well-being, but also quality of patient care and teamwork in providing the healthcare services. A recent study confirmed that a mindfulness-based intervention program developed in the United States, called Mindful Practice (MP), was useful to reduce burnout of healthcare workers in Hong Kong (HK). This lead to a localized MP program being developed in Chinese.
This study aims to examine the effectiveness of the Chinese MP program to reduce burnout, perceived stress and number of sick leave days, improve job engagement, quality of life, well-being and interpersonal communication skills of healthcare workers in Hong Kong.
Who can participate?
Adult hospital staff experiencing burnout or perceived stress
What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. Those in the first group receive an eight week Mindful Practice program, with a total of 27 contact hours. Participants are also encouraged to complete home-based mindful exercise or stretching each day as well as apply mindfulness at work. Participants are assessed using different inventories and scales before and after the program and after three months.
Those in the second group are invited to undertake the program after the first group have finished follow up.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from a reduction in burnout and perceived stress, improving quality of life. There are no direct risks for participants.
Where is the study run from?
Oasis- Center for Personal Growth and Crisis Intervention (Hong Kong)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2014 – August 2017
Who is funding the study?
Oasis - Center for Personal Growth and Crisis Intervention (Hong Kong)
Who is the main contact?
Ms Wacy Wai Sze Lui (Scientific)
RCT on Mindful Practice to alleviate burnout and perceived stress of health care workers
Mindful practice (MP) can alleviate burnout and perceived stress. It can also improve job engagement, quality of life, wellbeing, interpersonal communication and number of sick leave days.
Hospital Authority Hong Kong Kowloon East/Kowloon Central Cluster Research Ethics Committee, 25/08/2014, ref: LC/KE-14-0-0160/ER-2
Randomised single centre waitlist controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format
Burnout and perceived stress
All enrolled participants are invited to fill in the screening tools on burnout and perceived stress to assess their eligibility for the program. Those with burnout or perceived stress are then randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups, using the computer-generated procedures. Participants are informed of the assignment by the executive assistant and they are blinded of the research hypothesis.
All participants (both experimental and control groups) attend briefing sessions. Then, the participants of the experimental groups first join the 8-week manual Mindful Practice (MP) intervention (total 27 contact hours). Apart from the class-based learning, participants of the experimental groups are invited to do home practice during the program, which involves around 1 hour of formal mindful exercise or stretching per day, as well as application of mindfulness at work.
Participants in the control group do not undertake this program during this time, but upon completion of 3-month follow-up, participants in the waitlist control groups are also invited to join the MP program.
Primary outcome measures
Burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment) is measured using the Chinese Maslach Burnout Inventory pre-intervention, post-intervention and at 3 month follow up.
Secondary outcome measures
1. Stress is measured using the Perceived Stress Scale
2. Work engagement is measured using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES)
3. Health status is assessed using the Short term Health Survey (SF-12)
4. Current mental wellbeing is assessed using the World Health Organization Well-being Index
5. Communication competency is measured using the Interpersonal Communication Assessment Scale (ICAS)
All outcomes are assessed pre-intervention, post-intervention and at 3 month follow up.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Existing staff of Hospital Authority
2. Aged 18-65 years
3. Report having burnout or perceived stress
4. Committed to attend all MP classes and have mindful practice an hour a day between classes
5. No previous mindfulness experience
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. No burnout or perceived stress
2. Not able to attend both treatment and control groups for randomization
3. Currently havepsychosis, substance abuse, active suicidal ideation and plan
4. Receiving any active psychological and psychiatric treatment
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Oasis Center for Personal Growth and Crisis Intervention
Hospital Authority Hong Kong
Oasis - Center for Personal Growth and Crisis Intervention
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal.
IPS sharing statement:
The data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
To be made available at a later date
Results - basic reporting