A recent curriculum-based mindfulness stress-reduction program was implemented at Baker College in Michigan for entry-level occupational therapy students in an MOT program, given the fact that stress in college students is on the rise.
The seven-week study used a combination of mindfulness-based stress reduction strategies, including phone applications, podcasts, guided meditation, mindfulness of breath, yoga, and inquiry-based stress reduction techniques (IBSR) to help students cope with their stress level throughout the program. The Occupational Performance Coaching Model was used throughout the study to support students with individualized stress reduction plans.
An article, “Building Stress Resilience and Wellbeing: Introducing Mindfulness Training to Reduce Stress in Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Students”, was published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education.
Results indicated a statistically significant reduction in participants’ stress levels according to the pre- and post results of the Perceived Stress Scale. On the instructor-developed survey, 100% of the students who participated in this mindfulness training felt it reduced their stress levels.
These results suggest that educators might consider integrating coping strategies early in their occupational therapy programs to support student mental health.
The full article can be found in the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education.
Vogtmann, J. W., & Provident, I. (2021). Building Stress Resilience and Wellbeing: Introducing Mindfulness Training to Reduce Stress in Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Students. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5 (4). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2021.050417
Jen Willoughby Vogtmann, OTD, OTR/L, is an Occupational Therapist, Reiki Master and Teacher, and Associate Professor in the school of occupational therapy at Baker College with 18 years of clinical practice. She teaches Complementary Therapies, Wellness, and Occupation. Jen has a private practice and blends her Holistic Healing Training into her services. She is passionate about incorporating energy healing, guided imagery, mindfulness, and inquiry-based stress reduction techniques into her health and wellness coaching. Jen also specializes in legacy building, and end-of-life plans well in advance for clients in her practice.
Ingrid Provident, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator at Chatham University with over 30 years in the field of occupational therapy, and she is currently teaching and directing the post professional online OTD Program.