Background: Compassion is an important component of nursing care, but public enquiries into care failures have noted that it is not always evident. Mindfulness interventions have the potential to support compassion. However, the feasibility of delivering a mindfulness intervention at scale to nursing students has not been established. Objectives: To develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of a tailored mindfulness based online intervention to foster compassion in nursing students within clinical practice. Design: A randomised feasibility study with a waiting list control. Setting: A UK nursing faculty within a large university. Participants: Post-graduate, post-registration and pre-registration nursing students (N = 77). Methods: An online five module mindfulness based intervention (Mindful Nursing Online) was developed and tailored to support compassion in clinical nursing. The feasibility study comprised 77 participants randomised in a 2:1 ratio into an immediate access group (intervention, n = 50) or a delayed access group (waiting list control, n = 27). Data on feasibility through completion, attrition and practice rates, were collected through follow-up questionnaires at post-intervention, and 14 and 20 weeks after baseline. Acceptability data was collected through semi-structured interviews with 12 participants. Results: Non-completion rates were high with all five modules completed by only 28% (n = 14) of participants, and three modules completed by only 46% (n = 23). The most commonly cited reason for non-completion was lack of time. However, the interview data suggested those who completed the intervention were using mindfulness techniques in practice. They described feeling less stressed on the ward, having an increased focus on patients and a greater appreciation of the importance of self-care. Evaluative feedback therefore showed that the intervention was perceived to be effective at promoting mindfulness skills and was relevant to nursing work. Conclusion: Minimising attrition and enhancing engagement with the intervention should be the key objectives of a future study. Feedback from participants who completed the intervention indicates that a brief mindfulness intervention delivered online may support the delivery of compassionate nursing care.
- Nursing education
- Online education