To Assess Sleep Quality among Pakistani Junior Physicians (House Officers): A Cross???sectional Study

Author(s): Surani AA*, Surani A, Zahid S, Ali S, Farhan R and Surani S

Background: Sleep deprivation among junior physicians (house officers) is of growing concern. In developed countries, duty hours are now mandated, but in developing countries, junior physicians are highly susceptible to develop sleep impairment due to long working hours, on‑call duties and shift work schedule. Aim: We undertook the study to assess sleep quality among Pakistani junior physicians. Subjects and Methods: A cross‑sectional study was conducted at private and public hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan, from June 2012 to January 2013. The study population comprised of junior doctors (house physicians and house surgeons). A consecutive sample of 350 physicians was drawn from the above‑mentioned study setting. The subject underwent two validated self‑administered questionnaires, that is, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Results: A total of 334 physicians completely filled out the questionnaire with a response rate of 95.4% (334/350). Of 334 physicians, 36.8% (123/334) were classified as “poor sleepers” (global PSQI score > 5). Poor sleep quality was associated with female gender (P = 0.01), excessive daytime sleepiness (P < 0.01), lower total sleep time (P < 0.001), increased sleep onset latency (P < 0.001), and increased frequency of sleep disturbances (P < 0.001). Abnormal ESS scores (ESS > 10) were more prevalent among poor sleepers (P < 0.01) signifying increased level of daytime hypersomnolence. Conclusion: Sleep quality among Pakistani junior physicians is significantly poor. Efforts must be directed towards proper sleep hygiene education. Regulations regarding duty hour limitations need to be considered.


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