A study conducted by RAW Mind Coach co-founder, Sadhbh Joyce and the UNSW Workplace Mental Health Research team has today been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
The pilot study examines whether a mindfulness-based resilience-training program delivered via the internet is feasible and engaging to a group of high-risk workers. The study saw 29 full-time firefighters enrol in the Resilience@Work (RAW) Mindfulness program, with questionnaires administered prior to training and directly after completion.
This pilot study suggests the online approach is feasible, with firefighters who used the program showing a trend toward increased resilience and psychological flexibility.
Participants reported greater levels of resilience after completing the Resilience@Work training compared to baseline, with a mean increase in their overall resilience score of 1.5 (95% CI -0.25 to 3.18, t14=1.84, P=.09). Compared to baseline, participants also reported lower levels of psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance following training, with a mean decrease of -1.8 (95% CI -3.78 to 0.20, t13=-1.94, P=.07). With regards to cognitive fusion (thought entanglement), paired-samples t tests revealed a trend towards reduction in mean scores post training (P=.12).
Despite mental illness now being the leading cause of sickness illness and work disability in most developed countries, there remains a lack of evidence-based solutions that are practical, affordable, and accessible. The research was just the first in addressing that gap.
“My greatest fear was to perform research that sat gathering dust. That’s why we have worked so swiftly to translate the pilot program into an enhanced commercial version which is designed to be scalable, customisable and attuned to the real needs of business,” says Sadhbh Joyce.
RAW Mind Coach has already been adopted by major employers including NSW Ambulance, Optus, Reuters, the Australian Graduate School of Management and NSW Health. With the support of the Black Dog Institute, it is hoped the program’s reach will continue to expand rapidly.
As organisations get serious about protecting employee mental health, more are seeking out the latest research and looking to implement evidence-based programs. Results of a larger cluster randomised controlled trial, evaluating the RAW Mindfulness Program will be published later this year.
To view the RAW Pilot Study please visit www.jmir.org