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Wellbeing, burnout, and safe practice among healthcare professionals: predictive influences of mindfulness, values, and self-compassion

Prudenzi, A., Graham, C. D., Flaxman, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6417-2499 & O’Connor, D. (2022). Wellbeing, burnout, and safe practice among healthcare professionals: predictive influences of mindfulness, values, and self-compassion. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 27(5), pp. 1130-1143. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2021.1898651


Poor wellbeing and burnout are significant issues among health-care professionals (HCPs) and may contribute to unsafe practice. In this exploratory study, we aimed to: provide the first investigation of the combined and unique influences of these psychological factors in predicting safe practice; confirm the role played by mindfulness in relation to wellbeing, burnout and safe practice; and investigate whether values and self-compassion predict additional variability above and beyond mindfulness skills. Ninety-eight NHS staff completed measures of wellbeing, burnout, perceived safety of practice, mindfulness, values and self-compassion. Practitioners with higher perceived safety of practice reported higher levels of mindfulness, but not values or self-compassion, particularly lower experiential avoidance and nonjudgmental attitude toward difficult thoughts. Mindfulness explained significant variability in psychological distress (20%), emotional exhaustion (8%), cognitive weariness (10%), patient safety related to oneself (7%), and related to work (8%). Values (obstruction) added unique variance for psychological distress (12%) and physical fatigue (10%). Moreover, self-compassion explained a small yet significant portion of variability in emotional exhaustion. These preliminary findings suggest that mindfulness processes may be associated with perceived safety of practice. The results also indicate that mindfulness-based interventions for HCPs may benefit from the inclusion of values-based action components and self-compassion practices.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: wellbeing, burnout, patient safety, mindfulness, values, self-compassion, worry and rumination
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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