(HealthDay News) – Teachers show improvements in burnout, psychological symptoms, and classroom performance after participating in an eight-week stress reduction intervention modified specifically for their profession, according to a study published in the September issue of Mind, Brain, and Education.

Lisa Flook, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled pilot trial of a the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course (mMBSR), adapted specifically for teachers.

The researchers found the course to be a promising intervention for teachers. Participants showed significant reductions in psychological symptoms and burnout, improvements in observer-rated classroom organization and performance on a computer task of affective attentional bias, and increases in self-compassion. Teachers in the control group showed declines in cortisol functioning over time and marginally significant increases in burnout. In the intervention group, changes in mindfulness were correlated in the expected direction, with improvements noted across psychological symptoms, burnout, and sustained attention.

“This pilot study indicates that mMBSR may be one intervention modality that has potential for systematic implementation as a part of teachers’ professional development,” the authors write.

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