HealthDay News — According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, specific learning interventions may improve emotional well-being among medical students.

Lauren Wasson, MD, MPH, from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the best practices for undergraduate medical education learning environment interventions that correlate with improved emotional well-being of students. Data were included for 28 articles, with at least 8224 participants.

The researchers found that for all studies, the mean Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI) score was 10.3 (possible range, 5 to 18). 

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A variety of interventions were assessed, including those focused on pass/fail grading systems, mental health programs, mind-body skills programs, curriculum structure, multicomponent program reform, wellness program and advising/mentoring programs (mean MERSQI scores, 12.0, 11.9, 11.3, 9.5, 9.4, 9.0, and 8.2, respectively).

“In this systematic review, limited evidence suggested that some specific learning environment interventions were associated with improved emotional well-being among medical students,” the authors write. “The overall quality of the evidence was low, highlighting the need for high-quality medical education research.”


Wasson LT, et al. “Association Between Learning Environment Interventions and Medical Student Well-being: A Systematic Review.” JAMA. 2016. 316(21): 2237-2252. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.17573. [EPub ahead of print]

Slavin SJ. “Medical Student Mental HealthCulture, Environment, and the Need for Change.” JAMA. 2016. 316(21): 2195-2196. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.16396. [Epub ahead of print]

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