DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Health care workers across the United States continue to experience burnout.  

“There’s a sense of shouldn’t we be feeling better by now,” said Dr. Bryan Sexton, director of the Duke Center for Health Care Safety and Quality. “Quite frankly, they were exhausted before there was a global health crisis and now, they’re doing more with fewer colleagues to kind of carry the load forward.”

That is what encouraged Duke Health researchers to find a way to address the problem.

A new study finds watching short, web-based videos that inspire health care workers to contemplate awe, gratitude and kindness can promote enduring improvements in mental health outcomes such as depression and emotional exhaustion after a 10-day intervention.

About 480 health care workers participated in the study. All the videos were developed and tested by Duke researchers.  

Dr. Sexton, who is also senior author on the study, says short and sweet interventions proved to be effective and encouraged health care workers to follow-through.

“Most of the stuff that health care workers are given to do is onerous, it takes a long time, it’s tedious,” Sexton says. “I’m excited to see just how minimal we can get the duration and still maximize the benefit for people. If you’re still in health care right now, you’ve earned the ability to push the easy button and put some gas back in your tank and that’s what we’re going for.”

Researchers say five of the six well-being outcomes were improved by one week, and all outcomes were improved after one, six and 12 months. 

Duke is offering well-being training to every healthcare worker in the United States, clinical and non-clinical, because pandemic exhaustion continues to get worse. To enroll, click here