Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Both Distress And Fatigue Impact Resident Physician Errors, Study Finds

Date:
September 23, 2009
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Researchers report that distress and fatigue among medical residents are independent contributors to self-perceived medical errors.

Mayo Clinic researchers report that distress and fatigue among medical residents are independent contributors to self-perceived medical errors. The findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"We looked at distress and fatigue together and found that both factors can lead to a significant risk of medical error," says Colin West, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic physician and lead author of the study. "Both fatigue and distress among medical residents represent a potential concern for patient safety."

Previous studies, including a 2006 JAMA article by the same authors, showed that burnout during the physician training process can lead to medical errors. Other studies have suggested resident fatigue also increases the risk of medical errors. Collectively, these studies informed the 2008 Institute of Medicine recommendations that resident work hours be controlled. This new study confirms the previous findings but shows that distress should be addressed as a factor independent of fatigue. Distress can include such factors as burnout, depression, financial issues, family concerns or other emotional stress.

Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine residents were surveyed every three months between July 2003 and February 2009. Standardized survey tools were used to measure burnout, symptoms of depression, sleepiness and fatigue. At quarterly intervals, residents were also asked if they had made a major medical error in the last three months. Of the 430 eligible residents, 88 percent answered at least one survey. Overall, 39 percent of the respondents reported at least one self-perceived major medical error during the study period.

"While changes have been made to reduce fatigue and sleepiness during residency training, other changes may be necessary to more specifically address distress and burnout," says Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Mayo physician and senior author. The researchers say their findings may have implications beyond residency training and suggest that more attention to reducing non-fatigue-related distress among physicians may reduce errors and improve patient safety.

The authors note that the findings are somewhat limited by study size, by the fact the study was conducted at only one institution, and because the survey tool used for symptoms of depression may not allow definitive diagnosis of that condition. They recommend further research be conducted in larger, multi-institution populations to better identify the factors leading to medical errors.

Co-authors of the article include Angelina Tan; Thomas Habermann, M.D.; and Jeff Sloan, Ph.D., all of Mayo Clinic. The research was supported by the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine Program on Physician Well-Being.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Colin P. West; Angelina D. Tan; Thomas M. Habermann; Jeff A. Sloan; Tait D. Shanafelt. Association of Resident Fatigue and Distress With Perceived Medical Errors. JAMA, 2009; 302 (12): 1294-1300 [link]

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Both Distress And Fatigue Impact Resident Physician Errors, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922162257.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2009, September 23). Both Distress And Fatigue Impact Resident Physician Errors, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922162257.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Both Distress And Fatigue Impact Resident Physician Errors, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922162257.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins