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Grit, resilience and growth-mindset interventions in health professional students: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Medical Education 2024 April 11
OBJECTIVES: Grit, resilience and a growth-mindset influence students' ability to positively adapt to the challenges of health professional training. However, it is unclear if interventions can improve these traits. This systematic review aimed to explore if interventions can improve these traits in health professional students (primary) and their impact on academic and/or wellbeing outcomes (secondary).

METHODS: A comprehensive search of CINAHL, MEDLINE, Eric and Embase was conducted from inception until 15 March 2023. Randomised or non-randomised controlled trials and single-group intervention studies that aimed to improve health professional students' resilience, grit and/or growth-mindset were eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers independently screened studies for inclusion and evaluated quality using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Post-intervention data from randomised and non-randomised control trials were pooled using a random-effects model to calculate standardised mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Resilience interventions improved resilience by a moderate amount in 13 studies with 990 participants (pooled SMD 0.74, 95%CI 0.03 to 1.46) and a large amount when interventions were greater than one session duration in 10 trials with 740 participants (pooled SMD 0.97, 95%CI 0.08 to 1.85). Grit and growth-mindset interventions improved grit (pooled SMD 0.48, 95%CI -0.05 to 1.00, n = 2) and growth-mindset (pooled SMD 0.25, 95%CI -0.18 to 0.68, n = 2) by a small amount. Resilience interventions decreased perceived stress by a small amount (pooled SMD -0.38, 95%CI -0.62 to -0.14, n = 5).

CONCLUSIONS: Resilience interventions improve resilience and decrease perceived stress in health professional students. Preliminary evidence suggests grit and growth-mindset interventions may also benefit health professional students. Interventions may be most effective when they are longer than one session and targeted to students with low baseline levels of resilience and grit.

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