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World J Gastroenterol. 2017 May 14;23(18):3330-3337. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i18.3330.

Stress and sleep quality in doctors working on-call shifts are associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders.

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Soo-Kyung Lim, Seung Jin Yoo, Chae A Park, Han Jun Ryu, Yong Jin Jung, Ji Bong Jeong, Byeong Gwan Kim, Kook Lae Lee, Seong-Joon Koh, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, Seoul 156-707, South Korea.



To investigate the role of sleep quality and psychosocial problems as predictors of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in doctors that work 24 hour-on-call shifts.


In this cross-sectional observation study, using the Rome III Questionnaire and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), we analyzed 170 doctors with 24 hour-on-call shifts.


Among the participants that had experienced a 24 hour-on-call shift within the last 6 mo, 48 (28.2%) had FGIDs. Overall prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional dyspepsia (FD) were 16.5% and 17.1%, respectively, with 5.3% exhibiting both. Sleep scores (PSQI) (8.79 ± 2.71 vs 7.30 ± 3.43, P = 0.008), the presence of serious psychosocial alarm (83.3% vs 56.6%, P = 0.004), and the proportion of doctors who experienced over two months of recent on-call work (81.2% vs 68.9%, P = 0.044) were significantly different between individuals with or without FGIDs. Multivariate analysis revealed that presenting serious psychosocial alarm was an independent risk factor for prevalence of FD (OR = 5.47, 95%CI: 1.06-28.15, P = 0.042) and poor sleep quality (PSQI ≥ 6) was a predictor of IBS (OR = 4.17, 95%CI: 1.92-19.02, P = 0.016).


Physicians should recognize the role of sleep impairment and psychological stress in the development of FGIDs and a comprehensive approach should be considered to manage patients with FGIDs.


24 hour-on-call shift; Doctors; Functional gastrointestinal disorders; Psychosocial stress; Sleep

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