Sleep disturbances predict prospective declines in resident physicians' psychological well-being

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BACKGROUND: Medical residency can be a time of increased psychological stress and sleep disturbance. We examine the prospective associations between self-reported sleep quality and resident wellness across a single training year.<br /><br />METHODS: Sixty-nine (N=69) resident physicians completed the Brief Resident Wellness Profile (M=17.66, standard deviation [SD]=3.45, range: 0-17) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (M=6.22, SD=2.86, range: 12-25) at multiple occasions in a single training year. We examined the 1-month lagged effect of sleep disturbances on residents' self-reported wellness.<br /><br />RESULTS: Accounting for residents' overall level of sleep disturbance across the entire study period, both the concurrent (within-person) within-occasion effect of sleep disturbance (B=-0.20, standard error [SE]=0.06, p=0.003, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.33, -0.07) and the lagged within-person effect of resident sleep disturbance (B=-0.15, SE=0.07, p=0.037, 95% CI: -0.29, -0.009) were significant predictors of decreased resident wellness. Increases in sleep disturbances are a leading indicator of resident wellness, predicting decreased well-being 1 month later.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: Sleep quality exerts a significant effect on self-reported resident wellness. Periodic evaluation of sleep quality may alert program leadership and the residents themselves to impending decreases in psychological well-being.




Min, A. A., Sbarra, D. A., & Keim, S. M. (2015). Sleep disturbances predict prospective declines in resident physicians’ psychological well-being. Medical Education Online, 20(1).

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