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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 968-973

Daily self-regulation with biofeedback to improve stress and job satisfaction in a primary care clinic

1 Department of Community Health & Family Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, USA
2 Physician Assistant Program, Duke University School of Medicine, USA
3 Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida College of Public Health & Health Professions, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Frank A Orlando
Department of Community Health & Family Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, 4197 NW 86th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32606
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1820_20

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Background: Burnout in healthcare professions is higher than other careers. An undesirable work-life balance has resulted in declining job satisfaction among primary care physicians. Biofeedback devices teach self-regulation techniques, which reduce stress and increase resilience. Objectives: We assessed whether self-regulation with biofeedback is effective at decreasing stress and improving job satisfaction among primary care clinicians and nurses. Methods: Two naturally occurring cohorts of clinicians and nurses were followed over 12 weeks. The treatment group (N = 9) completed 12 weeks of self-regulation with optional clinic-based biofeedback and received peer support for the first half. The control group (N = 9) started a delayed intervention after 6 weeks without peer support. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted. Results: The treatment group averaged one biofeedback session weekly for 6 min and the control group two sessions for 11 min. Adherence differed by age. Subjects also reported using self-regulation techniques without biofeedback. Perceived stress initially increased in both groups with intervention implementation, more so in the treatment group (P = 0.03) whose stress then decreased but was not significant. Overall and extrinsic job satisfaction similarly increased but were not significance. Conclusion: The initial increase in perceived stress was related to daily biofeedback adherence and clinic responsibilities. Treatment group stress then decreased with self-regulation but was difficult to quantify in a small cohort. Larger studies could increase daily self-regulation adherence by improving biofeedback accessibility for leisurely use. Using self-regulation with biofeedback may be an innovative approach to reduce stress and improve job satisfaction in primary care.

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