There is a notable concept called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR. It is now – as Mead (2020) claims – recognized as an effective adjuvant in the treatment of a wide variety of disorders. Plenty of hospitals and clinics worldwide offer MBSR programs, and their number is growing every year (Janeway, 2020). Moreover, according to Mead (2020), meditation-based methods are being used more and more widely in developed countries. Today, the program is taught at many prestigious educational establishments, such as Harvard (Harvard Medical School, 2016).
There is now a wide range of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation. Khoury et al. (2015) state that MBSR practice results in a significant reduction in pain levels and an increase in the ability to cope with the pain that cannot be relieved. What is more, there is a considerable decrease in anxiety, depression, and hostility (Khoury et al., 2015). According to Ackerman (2020), at times, MBSR practitioners even demonstrate an increased ability to relax, great energy in life, improving self-esteem, and the improvement of stress management skills. Thus, it is plausible that meditation may provide the ability to cope more effectively with both short-term and long-term stressful situations.
The target group of this project is nurses who care for high morbidity and mortality patients during the period of Covid-19. These nurses are constantly under substantial pressure, which leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety. The latter can result in a sharp rise in blood pressure, and if episodes of anxiety occur frequently, they can increase the likelihood that a person will develop hypertension. It should be noted that this question also refers to the effect of stress on blood pressure. There is a significant investigation that reveals the positive impact of the MBSR program in this regard (Solano Lopez, 2017), which, again, proves the appropriacy of the project for the target group.
Recent studies indicate the importance of interventions that aim to improve nurses’ mental state in the dire conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Janeway (2020), “Consultation-liaison psychiatry can provide this care within the hospital, and clinic setting but immediate increased funding is necessary to provide the scope of care required” (para. 3). Mindfulness meditation is a significant opportunity that does not require considerable costs (Janeway, 2020).
This project is founded on the concept of mindfulness – a non-judgmental, detached, unbiased, and momentary awareness of the processes taking place in the psyche. Physical sensations, perception processes, emotional responses, thoughts, and imagination are recognized and observed (Khoury et al., 2015). In essence, awareness is a form of natural observation of events in the inner world, which usually occur unconsciously. This might lead to a number of significant changes in the framework of the perception of the world, which will result in an advanced level of self-reflection (Ackerman, 2020). There is a more accurate understanding of the processes occurring in mind. Then, according to Khoury et al. (2015), their patterns of psychological responses to external and internal stimuli automatically lead to the collection of additional information about the world and the development of better solutions. This will allow participants to act more effectively in life and leads to a feeling of greater control.
To summarize, the above discussion provides an evidence-based rationale regarding the exact changes that my DNP program will bring. It was stated that the plan would lead to a decrease in anxiety, depression, and hostility. Then, it was found that the project will result in a reduction in blood pressure among the participants, which is a prerequisite for significant health. Finally, mindfulness meditation contributes to improved self-awareness – a foundation for the appropriate perception of life. At this point, it seems reasonable to describe what particular actions will be undertaken during this project.
The program itself will be a twelve-week course activity, which might be quite an appropriate duration as the participants will get the opportunity to master the essential skills significantly. During the first week, the project will focus on education, survey, and pre-questionnaire so that those taking part could be provided with the necessary background. The following eight weeks will be focused on implementing a forty-five-minute daily routine in which various activities in order to promote awareness and mindfulness. It was decided to adhere to the eight most popular MBSR exercises and techniques, among which are body scan, object meditation, the breath, walking meditation, mindful stretching, and worry or urge “surfing” (Ackerman, 2020).
It should be noted that a daily journal will be done by the participants so that they could express if the activity is done and how these participants feel about this particular activity. Week 10 will be focused on expressing thoughts and concerns about the project, completing a post-questionnaire, and collecting the journals. Thus, the project will be designed in such a manner that allows continuous and transparent monitoring of the progress, which might be considered as an important foundation for its proper implementation. This will lead to such a state of affairs when all the aspired aims and benefits of the program are achieved.
Ackerman, C. E. (2020). MBSR: 25 mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises and courses. Positive Psychology. Web.
Harvard Medical School. (2016). Now and Zen: How mindfulness can change your brain and improve your health. [PDF document].
Janeway, D. (2020). The role of psychiatry in treating burnout among nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Radiology Nursing. Web.
Khoury, B., Sharma, M., Rush, S., & Fornier, C. (2015). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78, 519–528.
Solano López, A. L. (2018). Effectiveness of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program on blood pressure: A systematic review of literature. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 15(5), 344–352.