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Keywords

Coherence, Emotions, Healing modalities, Healthy work environment, HeartMath, Resiliency, Stress

 

Authors

  1. Buchanan, Teresa M. MBA, RN
  2. Reilly, Patricia M. MSN, RN

Abstract

Background: Health care providers must think clearly and make critical decisions under stressful circumstances. Providing effective strategies for managing stress in the moment helps mitigate the physical, emotional, and psychological impacts associated with caring for others and promotes resiliency. Staff may also utilize these techniques with patients and their families to help alleviate the symptoms of stress that may be experienced as the result of illness.

 

Aim: The purpose of this study was to measure whether HeartMath techniques reduce stress and improve resiliency in health care providers.

 

Methods: Study participants were asked to complete the Personal and Organizational Quality Assessment-Revised 4 Scale (2016) immediately before the start of training and then again 4 to 6 weeks after completion of the class. Participants were also asked to voluntarily share their experiences using HeartMath techniques personally or with family, friends, and patients.

 

Results: Significant improvements were found in 3 of 4 primary scales (organizational stress, emotional stress, and physical stress) and in 6 of 9 subscales on the Personal and Organizational Quality Assessment-Revised 4 Scale indicating a positive impact on employee health, well-being, and performance. Stories shared by participants posttraining indicated that HeartMath techniques were being used personally and with patients as an adjunct in the management of pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

 

Conclusions: This study supports existing evidence that HeartMath techniques are effective in managing stress and increasing resiliency. These techniques are also valuable tools for health care providers to use with patients and their families in the management of symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness related to hospitalization and illness.