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The impact of transitioning from a 24-hour to a 16-hour call model amongst a cohort of Canadian anesthesia residents at McMaster University – a survey study

Authors Sussman D, Paul J

Received 12 November 2014

Accepted for publication 8 December 2014

Published 7 August 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 501—506


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder

David Sussman, James E Paul

Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to assess anesthesia residents' opinions and perceptions on wellness/burnout, fatigue, education, and patient safety after the initiation of a reduced call model (16-hour call).
Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted at three time points during the 2013–2014 academic year. A web-based questionnaire consisting of 23 questions was electronically distributed to all anesthesia residents from postgraduate years (PGY) 1 to 5 who were part of the active call roster (n=84) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Descriptive summaries were calculated, counts and percentages were used for categorical variables, and answers to open text questions were reviewed for themes.
Results: A response rate of 67% was obtained for this study. A majority of anesthesia residents (65%) approved of 16-hour call, felt that their overall quality of life as a senior resident (PGY3 or greater) or junior resident (PGY2 and below) had improved (73% and 55%, respectively), and reported overall feeling less fatigued. Most respondents indicated that the quality of education remained unchanged (47%), or had improved (31%). And most felt better prepared for the royal college exam (52%). Most felt patient safety had improved or was unchanged (both 48%).
Conclusion: The study demonstrates that 16-hour call improved resident wellness, reduced burnout and fostered an environment where residents are less fatigued and more satisfied with their educational experience promoting an environment of patient safety. Overall, the anesthesia residency group demonstrated that not only is 16-hour call preferred but beneficial.

Keywords: resident wellness, reduced call model, duty hours, patient safety, cohort study, fatigue

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