Journal article

A Barrier Opener for Personal Insights : Nursing and Medical Students Experiences of Participating in an Experiential Mind-Body Skills Program


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Publication Details

Subtitle: Nursing and Medical Students Experiences of Participating in an Experiential Mind-Body Skills Program

Author list: Jong, Mats;Jong, Miek;van Vliet, Marja

Publication year: 2014

Start page: A98

End page: A99

ISSN: 1075-5535



Purpose: This study aimed to obtain an in-depth understanding on how nursing-, and medical students participating in a Mind-Body Medicine Skills program experienced participation and what the program has meant to them on a personal and a professional level.

Methods: Based on a qualitative approach, first and second year students were interviewed 3 months after completion of the program. Interviews were analyzed with a qualitative content analysis. As a part of a larger study evaluating the effects on stress, empathy and self-reflection, this qualitative sub-study included 10 nursing students from Mid Sweden University, Sweden, and 10 medical students from University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Mind-Body Medicine Skills program was adapted from the program developed at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC, and included 11 experiential sessions were the students were introduced to different mind-body techniques (mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, bio-feedback etc).

Results: Data analysis is ongoing and more complete analysis will be presented at the conference. In preliminary analysis an overarching theme has been identified: The Mind-Body Medicine Skills program as a barrier opener of personal insights, and a starting point for a new journey in life. The participants describe how the course have made it possible for them obtain insights about themselves, both by self reflection in relation to experiences and through listening to the stories of the others. It is also described that they currently do not at all times explicitly use the direct techniques, but more separate personalized elements, which they have been able to incorporate in everyday situations: i.e. moments of mindfulness while walking, biking or eating, or taking a moment of breathing and relaxation before dealing with problematic situations with others.

Conclusion: Participation in the Mind-Body Medicine Skills program can on an individual basis have a deep and profound meaning, stimulating to personal growth.


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