Sleep deprivation and its consequences on house officers and postgraduate trainees

Sindh Medical College, Dow University of Health, Sciences, Karachi.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (Impact Factor: 0.41). 04/2013; 63(4):540-3.
Source: PubMed


To determine sleep deprivation and its consequences on doctors in tertiary care hospitals.
The cross-sectional study was conducted from February to May 2012 and comprised house officers and postgraduate trainees at 4 public and 1 private tertiary care hospitals in Karachi. The subjects were posted in wards, out-patient departments and emergencies. A proforma was designed with questions about duration of duty hours, sleep deprivation and its effects on quality of performance, and presence of anxiety, depression, medical errors, frequent cold and infections, accidents, weight changes, and insomnia. Duration of 1 hour was given to fill the proforma. SPSS 20 was used for data analysis.
The study comprised 364 subjects: 187 (51.37%) house officers and 177 (48.62%) postgraduate trainees. There were 274 (75.27%) females and 90 (24.72%) males. Of those who admitted to being sleep deprived (287; 78.84%), also complained of generalised weakness and poor performance (n = 115; 40%), anxiety (n = 110; 38%), frequent cold and infections (n = 107; 37%), personality changes (n = 93; 32%), depression (n = 86; 30%), risk of accidents (n = 68; 23.7%), medical errors (n = 58; 20%) and insomnia (n = 52; 18%).
Having to spend 80-90 hours per week in hospitals causes sleep deprivation and negative work performance among doctors. Also, there is anxiety, depression and risk of accidents in their personal lives.

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