A much touted sleep education program—Sleep, Alertness, and Fatigue Education in Residency (SAFER)—did not improve sleep hygiene among medical interns, according to the September 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In a study led by Vineet M. Arora, of the University of Chicago (UC), interns from the inpatient medicine service at UC’s med school were asked to wear wristwatch activity monitors between July 1, 2003, and June 24, 2005. In March 2005, interns received the SAFER program intervention.
Estimates of interns’ on-call, precall, postcall, and second-day postcall sleep were compared with recommended minimum levels of preventive sleep (7 hours of precall) and recovery sleep (16 hours during the 2 days after call) in healthy populations. These analyses were repeated to test the effect of the SAFER program.
Among interns who participated in the test, those on call slept an average of 2.84 hours and received less than the amount of recommended recovery sleep. Intern preventive sleep was also less than recommended (6.47 hours). In attempt to make up for lost sleep, interns received 18 minutes more recovery sleep for each hour of on-call sleep loss. Per current duty-hour regulations as set forth by the accreditation council, residents continue to be sleep deprived.
The researchers concluded that the SAFER program has no impact on resident precall or postcall sleep.
See related Sleep Review stories from 6/14, 2006 and 3/26, 2007.
To read the abstract, click here.