Researchers Begin Phase II of Meditation Study

Innovative research on meditation and mindfulness continues at SMU

Lead by Dr. Eric G. Bing, professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciencesa team of researchers from the Institute for Leadership Impact is conducting innovative research on meditation and mindfulness.   

Meditation study flyer

Students from SMU and eighteen other universities participated in the first phase of the study which investigated the use of meditation as a tool for reducing college students’ stress during the coronavirus pandemic.  The study examined the effectiveness of motivational coaching as a strategy for improving formation of meditation habits and increasing the effects of meditation on participants’ well-being.  Dr. Wen Huang, a Postdoctoral fellow in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development, and Megan Brown, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropologyare leading the analysis of data from this phase of the study.   

Recruitment for the second phase of the study is underway, and SMU undergraduate and graduate students currently in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are invited to sign up.  Phase II will focus on different methods for building a meditation habit.  Participants will learn to meditate daily using an app, meditating for 9-20 minute a day for one month from the convenience of their own home.  For more information on enrolling in the study, contact Kaitlyn Contreras at kcontreras@smu.edu  

To learn more about Institute for Leadership Impact programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter. 

SMU Researchers Create Low-cost Virtual Reality Training to Improve Care during Labor and Delivery

SMU researchers receive funding from Wellcome Trust to develop low cost virtual reality training to help improve skills to surgically manage postpartum hemorrhage.  Such training may not only reduce time and cost to train providers but reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by reducing face-to-face interactions during surgical training.

 

COVID-19 has created complex challenges and opportunities in teaching and learning, including how medical providers are trained to perform complex medical procedures.  An international team of researchers from King’s College London, Southern Methodist University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Zambia is developing techniques to train surgeons using low cost eLearning tools and Virtual Reality which can help improve the acquisition of knowledge and skills without patient contact.1,2

The multidisciplinary team has been awarded a Wellcome Trust research grant to build and field test a virtual reality training platform for the surgical management of postpartum hemorrhage.  The team at SMU is led by Dr. Eric G. Bing, Professor of Global Health in the Departments of Applied Physiology & Wellness and Anthropology and Dr. Anthony Cuevas, Assistant Dean for Technology & Innovation and Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning.

Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.
Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.

Surgery is one of the most crucial domains of global medicine, yet most low- and middle-income countries have stark deficits in both the absolute numbers of surgeons and their level of expertise to perform complex surgical procedures. Of the many types of emergency surgical interventions, some of the most crucial and complex are those required to manage obstetrical hemorrhage, the world’s most common cause of maternal death. Funding from the Wellcome Trust will enable researchers to build and field test the first general affordable obstetrical virtual reality simulator training platform for the surgical management of obstetrical hemorrhage. The innovative training platform, once built, will integrate the latest advances in virtual reality technology with traditional hands-on training and can be easily and affordably delivered within low and middle-income contexts. The application of an enhanced learning platform will rapidly build surgical capacity and capability for complex surgical procedures, some of which are life-saving, and increase access to a level of care that is very difficult for most women residing in these environments to obtain.

This research will build upon a low-cost Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator developed by many members of the current team.

Create Impact in Your Organization

The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

  1. Bing, E. G. et al. Using Low-Cost Virtual Reality Simulation to Build Surgical Capacity for Cervical Cancer Treatment. J. Glob. Oncol. 1–7 (2019) doi:10.1200/JGO.18.00263.
  2. Parham, G. et al. Creating a low-cost virtual reality surgical simulation to increase surgical oncology capacity and capability. ecancermedicalscience 13, (2019).

 

COVID-19 Mindfulness Meditation Study

Mental health is an important factor during and after a global pandemic.

Meditation Study Flyer

SMU Engaged Learning scholar and Institute for Leadership Impact Research Assistant Kaitlyn Contreras Castro is studying meditation and meditation coaching for her Engaged Learning project.

Meditation is a relaxation technique that has been shown to aid well-being if practiced regularly. College students experience high levels of stress, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. An obstacle to committing to meditative practices is the difficulty in committing time and attention to acquire effective mindfulness skills. The purpose of this investigation is to determine if mobile mindfulness applications are associated with stress reduction if enhanced with brief weekly electronic meditation coaching and if any benefits are maintained over time. This research is especially important during a global pandemic which brings increased external stress factors to students.

Kaitlyn is working with Dr. Eric G. Bing, Institute for Leadership Impact Director and professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and Claire Trotter, Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.  Enrollment in this study has now ended.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.