offered a podium presentation (variation) 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

How Effective Are Different Approaches To Increasing Well-Being And Compassion In A High-Stress Work Environment? (#379)

Anya Johnson 1 , Felicia Huppert 2 , Sean O'Connor 3
  1. University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  3. Sydney University, Sydney

This paper presents the key RCT results from the Templeton-Foundation-funded 'Compassion at the heart of wellbeing' study. The study investigates the effects of two interventions; the first is based on meditation practices, the second on goal-focused approaches from positive psychology and coaching on wellbeing and compassion in a healthcare context. In addition, we collected data from a wait list control group. Participants were drawn from 52 wards across a major health district in NSW. Participating wards were randomly assigned to one of the two intervention groups and the wait-list control group. For each intervention three full-day training sessions were scheduled for each participant, with a short gap between sessions 1 and 2 and a longer gap between sessions 2 and 3. Five cohorts have completed each intervention with 147 nurses enrolled in the two intervention groups. Overall, we have found significant improvements on self-report measures for both interventions, for wellbeing and self-compassion in addition to empathy and compassion towards others. Interestingly we found that the meditation intervention group performed better on a measure of empathic accuracy. Finally, we found that many of the improvements were sustained at follow up, 5 months later.