Effect and Utilization of Protected Time Among Interns on Extended Duty-Hour Call Shifts

2014-08-27 03:19:06 | BioPortfolio


This study will test the feasibility and effectiveness of protected time for physicians in training during 30 hour shifts in a medical intensive care unit. The primary outcome will be fatigue. Secondary outcomes include the amount slept while on call, depression, and burnout.


Background: The Institute of Medicine has proposed 5 hour naps for residents on extended overnight call-duty shifts citing resident and patient safety. Concerns raised about this recommendation include increased handoffs, truncated continuity, and if residents would be able to effectively use the protected time for sleep.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to test if protected time for sleep during extended duty overnight shifts improves resident fatigue and if they actually utilize the time for sleep.

Methods: All interns rotating through the medical intensive care unit from October 2009 through October 2010 will work extended shifts every 3rd night. On Sunday through Thursday nights they will have a 5 hour protected period from 2 AM to 7 AM. During this time they will relinquish their pager and cell phone to the Night Float PGY2 or PGY3 who is already responsible for the ICU patients. The four hours between 2 and 6 am are entirely protected. From 6 AM to 7 AM, interns will be expected to start computer rounding on the ICU patients and to begin progress notes for the remaining members of the ICU team but still have no pager, cell phone, or cross coverage duties. On Friday and Saturday nights there will be no protected time but these interns will have 42 consecutive hours off following their extended shift.

Results from the October 2009 to October 2010 protected time cohort of interns will be compared with two comparison groups from the same institution and the same medical intensive care unit during the academic year June 2008 to June 2009. The first comparison group is interns working 30 hour shifts every 3rd night without any protected time and an average of 80 hours per week. The second comparison group is interns working a maximum shift length of 16 hours and an average of 60 hours per week.

The primary outcome will be measurement of fatigue (daytime multiple sleep latency tests). Secondary outcomes include the amount slept as measured by actigraphy, assessment of burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory) and depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II).

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Control: Historical Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Health Services Research




Protected time and Dedicated time


Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
United States


Not yet recruiting


Providence Health & Services

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:19:06-0400

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