Residency

Reducing intern work hours may not affect fatigue levels

Residency Program Insider, June 9, 2009

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A survey of first-year residents at the University of California, San Francisco, indicates that cuts to duty hours may not reduce fatigue, according to a study published the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Researchers created a survey to identify factors associated with intern fatigue, including sleep, stress, and healthcare teamwork factors. Based on the survey results from 66 respondents, researchers found:

  • Poor quality of sleep and perceived stress were significantly associated with fatigue
  • Greater perceived stress was significantly associated with diminished sleep quality
  • Poor teamwork was significantly associated with perceived stress
  • Working longer than 80 hours per week was not significantly associated with stress, sleep, or fatigue

Researchers say these results indicate that changes on the program-level—not just reductions in duty hours—may be needed to improve sleep, foster teamwork, and diminish fatigue.



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