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Meditation and Student Empathy

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03330665
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : November 6, 2017
Last Update Posted : July 6, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York Institute of Technology

Brief Summary:
Physician empathy and reducing stress are major factors in attaining positive clinical outcomes for patients. Fostering empathy in medical students is particularly important as they are the future of the healthcare workforce and a trend of declining empathy during medical education may lead to decreased health care quality outcomes. Meditation may be an avenue to promote positive student attitudes including empathy, though very few studies have examined this idea through empirical research. Using validated measures, the Jefferson scale of empathy and the perceived stress scale, we seek to investigate whether use of a meditation app will be associated with higher levels of self-rated empathy and lower self-rated stress.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Stress Empathy Behavioral: Meditation Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 78 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Meditation and Student Empathy
Actual Study Start Date : November 1, 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : September 1, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : September 1, 2022

Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: Control
No meditation
Experimental: Intervention
Meditate using headspace app 3 times a week
Behavioral: Meditation
Meditate 3 times a week using headspace app
Other Name: MIndfullness

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Perceived stress scale (PSS) [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Perceived stress scale measures stress levels. 10 item scale where subjects are asked to indicate by circling how often they felt or thought a certain way on a scale of 1-4. Items are them added up- a higher score means higher stress.

  2. Jefferson scale of empathy [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    Jefferson scale of Empathy measures empathy levels. 20 item scale where subjects are asked to indicate by circling how often they felt or thought a certain way about empathy related situations on a scale of 1-7. Items are them added up- a higher score means higher empathy.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

-Medical students from New York Institute of Technology

Exclusion Criteria:

-Not a medical student

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Responsible Party: New York Institute of Technology Identifier: NCT03330665    
Other Study ID Numbers: BHS-1245
First Posted: November 6, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 6, 2018
Last Verified: July 2018

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No