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This article is part of the supplement: Scientific Abstracts Presented at the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2012

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OA05.02. Relationships among well-being and wellness behaviors over time in residents in eight family medicine residencies

S Dodds1*, A Brooks1, J Woytowicz2, P Cook1, R Benn3, V Maizes1 and P Lebensohn1

  • * Corresponding author: S Dodds

Author Affiliations

1 University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Tucson, USA

2 Maine-Dartmouth, Augusta, USA

3 University of Michigan Health Center, Ann Arbor, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12(Suppl 1):O18  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-O18

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:12 June 2012

© 2012 Dodds et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To present findings on relationships among dimensions of well-being and wellness behaviors in family medicine residents participating in the Integrative Medicine in Residency (IMR) program through the last two years of training.


Residents in the 2011 graduating class of the IMR (n=56) were assessed at the beginning of PGY2 and PGY3 and at graduation. Measures were self-administered online and included established measures of well-being: perceived stress, burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization), depression, and satisfaction with life. Wellness behaviors assessed included restful sleep, nutrition, physical activity, mind-body activities, being in nurturing relationships, being outdoors in nature, and alcohol use. Stepwise regression analysis examined relationships between wellness behaviors and each well-being measure at each timepoint.


In both PGY2s (n=52) and PGY3s (n=38), restful sleep was associated with less perceived stress (p=0.003; p=0.01), greater life satisfaction (p=0.007; p=0.007), less depression (p=0.002; p=0.041), and less emotional exhaustion (p=0.001; p

0.001). In PGY2s, more time in nurturing relationships was associated with greater life satisfaction (p=0.039). In PGY3s, more frequent exercise was associated with less depression (p=0.003) and greater life satisfaction (p=0.014). By graduation (n=42), sleep was associated with less emotional exhaustion (p=0.006). Spending more time outdoors in nature was associated with lower perceived stress (p=0.002), less depression (p=0.026), and lower depersonalization (p=0.003). Nurturing relationships were associated with greater life satisfaction (p
0.001). More alcohol use was associated with less perceived stress (p=0.001). Using a variety of mind-body wellness behaviors was associated with greater depression in PGY2s (p=0.015), and with emotional exhaustion at graduation (p=0.045).


Sleep, nurturing relationships, exercise, and time outdoors in nature were most frequently associated with well-being among Family Medicine residents. This study is the first to describe these relationships for residents who participated in the IMR, and points to the importance of addressing well-being and wellness behaviors during the formative time of graduate medical education.