What is it about?
We found in a controlled experiment that sleep deprived physicians displayed lower levels of empathy for the pain of others following a night shift. Next we analyzed 7 years of archival data. Across 13000 discharge notes from US and Israel, physicians were less likely to prescribe analgesics during night shifts (compared to daytime shifts) and prescribed fewer analgesics than generally recommended by the WHO, also when controlling for patient, physician, hospital and complaint characteristic
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Why is it important?
Night shift work seems to be an important bias in empathy for pain and pain management, that should be taken into account in the ongoing debate regarding physician training and working schedules, as well as other professions and organizations employing night shifts
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This page is a summary of: Physicians prescribe fewer analgesics during night shifts than day shifts, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2200047119.
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