Conceptual Frameworks in the Study of Duty Hours Changes in Graduate Medical Education: A Review.

Link to article at PubMed

Conceptual Frameworks in the Study of Duty Hours Changes in Graduate Medical Education: A Review.

Acad Med. 2010 Nov 19;

Authors: Schwartz A, Pappas C, Bashook PG, Bordage G, Edison M, Prasad B, Swiatkowski V

PURPOSE: Conceptual frameworks are approaches to a research problem that specify key entities and their relationships. The 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on resident duty hours, subsequent studies, and published responses to the report present a variety of conceptual frameworks for the study of the impact of duty hours regulations. The authors sought to identify and describe these conceptual frameworks and their implications. METHOD: The authors reviewed the IOM report and articles in both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature for the period January 2008 through April 2010, identified using multiple electronic databases including PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, BEME, and PsycInfo. Studies that explicitly described or argued for the effect of resident duty hours on any other outcome, as judged by consensus of multiple reviewers, were included. The authors selected 239 of 858 studies reviewed. Several of the authors reviewed articles to identify conceptual frameworks used implicitly or explicitly to describe the relationship between duty hours (or duty hours regulations) and outcomes. Identification was by consensus. RESULTS: Twenty-three conceptual frameworks were identified. Several made contradictory predictions about the impact of duty hours regulations on patient outcomes, resident education, and other key outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The concept of duty hours itself is contested, and little attention has been paid to the nature and intensity of the activities that occupy residents' hours. Much research focuses on isolated outcomes of duty hours changes without considering mediation or moderation. More studies are needed to define trade-offs between outcomes and the value society places on these trade-offs.

PMID: 21099663 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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