Article Text

Mind-body therapies: an intervention to reduce work-related stress in veterinary academia
  1. Elpida Artemiou1,
  2. Gregory E Gilbert2,3,
  3. Anne Callanan1,
  4. Silvia Marchi4 and
  5. Don R Bergfelt4
  1. 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  2. 2Learning Sciences, Adtalem Global Education, Downers Grove, Illinois, USA
  3. 3Center for Teaching and Learning, Ross University School of Medicine, Roseau, Dominica
  4. 4Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  1. E-mail for correspondence; eartemiou{at}


Studies investigating perceived stress and mindfulness awareness support mind-body therapy (MBT) effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety and, thus, has potential to decrease work-related stress. A pre/postexperimental design involved 30 faculty and staff working at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Saint Kitts and Nevis, who experienced a two-day MBT intervention programme. An additional 16 faculty and staff not involved in MBT who went about their daily work schedules served as contemporary controls. Demographics, Perceived Stress Scale 10 (PSS-10), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), 16 Personality Factor (16PF) Openness to Change subscale and saliva cortisol concentrations were analysed. Control participants reported significantly perceived less stress (PSS-10: M=13; sd=1.4) than intervention participants (M=20; sd=6.6) during pretest. However, at post-test the intervention group reported a significant decrease in perceived stress (M=11; sd=6.0). MAAS pretest results indicated the intervention group displayed a lower average score (M=54; sd=15.3) than control participants (M=68; sd=2.0). Post-MAAS intervention scores showed improvements in mindfulness (M=63; sd=15.3). Correlations between the 16PF Openness to Change subscale and MAAS were r=0.03 and r=−0.17 for the intervention and control groups, respectively. Mean concentrations of saliva cortisol indicated a larger and significant decline in cortisol for the intervention group both during day 1 (P=0.0001) and day 2 (P=0.0008). In conclusion, these preliminary results provide support that MBTs in veterinary academia can improve psychological and physiological aspects of personal wellbeing.

  • mind-body therapies
  • mindfulness
  • veterinary wellness
  • saliva cortisol
  • workplace stress

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  • Contributors EA and GEG contributed to study conception and design. EA drafted the original manuscript and GEG, DRB, SM and AC edited the original manuscript making critical revisions. GEG authored the Methods and Results sections and served as the statistician for the investigation. All authors contributed subsequent revisions for the manuscript. EA formatted the final manuscript and serves as the corresponding author. All authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Center for Innovation in Veterinary and Medical Education.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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