The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia Mindfulness Project


  • Sarah Moore Rural Clinical School of Western Australia Yallingup, Western Australia
  • Rita Barbour Edith Cowan University, Bunbury, WA
  • Hanh Ngo The University of Western Australia, Perth
  • Craig Sinclair The University of Western Australia, Perth
  • Richard Chambers Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Denese Playford The University of Western Australia, Perth
  • Kirsten Auret The University of Western Australia
  • Craig Hassed Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria



Medical education, mindfulness meditation training


Background: Medical students experience high levels of stress during their training. Literature suggests that mindfulness can reduce stress and increase self-compassion levels in medical students. Most mindfulness training programs are delivered face-to-face and require significant time commitments, which can be difficult to achieve for rurally-based students with heavy academic workloads.

Aim: We sought to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of a mindfulness training program delivered online to medical students at a Rural Clinical School.

Methods: An 8-week online training program was delivered to third year medical students at the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia in 2016.

Using quantitative-qualitative mixed-methods approach, we measured the frequency and duration of the participants’ mindfulness meditation practice, and assessed changes in their perceived stress, self-compassion and compassion levels, as well as personal and professional attitudes and behaviours.

Results: 47 students were recruited to the study. 50% of participants were practising at least weekly by the end of the 8-week program, and 32% of responding students reported practising at least weekly 6 months following the intervention. There was a statistically significant reduction in participants’ perceived stress levels and a significant increase in self-compassion at 6 month follow up. Participants reported qualitative insights about the personal and professional impact of mindfulness meditation training as well as barriers to practice.




How to Cite

Moore, S., Barbour, R., Ngo, H., Sinclair, C., Chambers, R., Playford, D., Auret, K., & Hassed, C. (2020). The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia Mindfulness Project. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 7(1), 51-52.