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Insomnia leads to decreased empathy in health care workers

Date:
June 9, 2015
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
Insomnia decreases empathy in health care workers and may lead to adverse clinical outcomes and medical errors, a new study suggests. Results show that subjects with an Insomnia Severity Index ISI of greater than 8, scored significantly higher across all four subscales of empathy.
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A new study suggests that insomnia decreases empathy in health care workers and may lead to adverse clinical outcomes and medical errors.

Results show that subjects with an Insomnia Severity Index ISI of greater than 8, scored significantly higher across all four subscales of empathy.

"Insomnia affects empathy in health care workers which can lead to adverse clinical outcomes," said lead author Venkatesh Basappa Krishnamurthy, MD, assistant professor, Sleep Research and Treatment Center, department of psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and was presented June 8, in Seattle, Washington, at SLEEP 2015, the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, chronic insomnia, which affects as many as 10 percent of adults, involves ongoing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep -- or regularly waking up earlier than desired -- despite an adequate opportunity for sleep.

The study group comprised 97 subjects including but not limited to physicians, residents, nurses, nurse assistants, pharmacists, radiology technicians, lab technicians were recruited from Henry Ford Health System. Empathy was measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) across four subscales -- fantasy, perspective-taking, empathic concern, and personal distress. Insomnia was measured using the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI).


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Materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Insomnia leads to decreased empathy in health care workers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150609121954.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2015, June 9). Insomnia leads to decreased empathy in health care workers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150609121954.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Insomnia leads to decreased empathy in health care workers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150609121954.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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