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    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Survey suggests fatigued, stressed hospital residents report making more major medical errors.

    "Internal medicine residents who report higher levels of fatigue, sleepiness, and distress are at greater risk for reporting major medical errors," according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers issued questionnaires to residents who had enrolled in a "Mayo Internal Medicine Well-being Study between July 2003 and February 2009."

    Among the "356 participants, 139 (39 percent) reported making at least one major medical error." Of those who reported an error, "68.7 percent screened positive for depression at some point during the study." The researchers also found that "one-point increases on the fatigue and sleepiness scales were associated with 14-percent and 10-percent increased likelihoods of an error being reported during the subsequent three months."

    Other factors associated with subsequent error were "burnout, depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, lower personal accomplishment, a positive depression screen," and overall quality of life. The study authors concluded that "in addition to the national efforts to reduce fatigue and sleepiness, well-designed interventions to prevent, identify, and treat distress among physicians are needed." Still, they stressed that "additional research is necessary to determine the most effective strategies for accomplishing these goals."

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice. For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

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