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Impact of night-float rotation on sleep, mood, and alertness: the residents perception.

Cavallo A; Jaskiewicz J; Ris MD
Chronobiol Int 2002 Sep; 19(5):893-902
Night-float rotations were designed to alleviate the workload of residents on night call and thereby improve patient safety. However, the impact of the night float on residents is yet to be surveyed. We assessed the impact of the night-float rotation on pediatric residents using an anonymous questionnaire that covered topics, based on recall, about sleep, mood, alertness, adjustment, and others. The study was conducted in a major tertiary pediatric teaching hospital in the United States. Participants were pediatric residents who had completed one or two night-float rotations and were in active training at our teaching hospital at the time of the study. Fifty-two of 60 eligible residents (87%) responded. Sleep duration during the night-float rotation was shorter than during day-shift work in 24 residents (46%), longer in 20 (38%), and unchanged in eight (15%). A higher proportion of residents took longer to fall asleep, had more difficulty falling asleep, had more sleep interruptions, and felt less rested upon awakening. Twenty-four residents (46%) felt that their bodies never adjusted to the night shift. Also, 22 residents (43%) felt moody or depressed in contrast to seven (14%) who felt depressed during the daytime rotation (p = 0.0001). Twenty-one residents (41%) felt they were slower in their thinking during the night float than daytime rotations. The results suggest that disturbances of sleep and mood and decreased alertness, typical of night shift, are present in the night-float rotation. Residency programs should monitor closely the impact of the night-float rotation on resident well being and patient safety. The impact of night-shift work should be considered in the design of night-float schedules, and teaching should be provided for residents to learn coping strategies for night-shift work.
Sociological-factors; Sociology; Sleep-deprivation; Sleep-disorders; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-sociology; Work-environment; Workers; Safety-measures; Demographic-characteristics; Circadian-rhythms
Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039
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Journal Article
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Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
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Chronobiology International
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Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division