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Original Research

Sleeping disturbance among family medicine and emergency medicine physicians at Prince Salman armed force hospital in Tabuk city

Abdul Majeed H Al-Temani, Salem K Al-Dahi.


Background: Difficulty in sleeping under stressor due to various living style needs appears to be a great risk factor for physical and mental health status. Physicians are a population that appears to be at increased risk for sleep deprivation due to demanding academic and clinical duties.

Aims & Objective: To estimate the prevalence of different forms of sleeping disturbance and determine its associated factors among family medicine and emergency medicine (ER) physicians at military hospital in Tabuk.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was adopted. All Family medicine (n=80) and ER (n=25) physician in Prince Salman Armed Forces hospital in Tabuk, KSA were invited to participate in the study. A validated questionnaire was used based on Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Pittsburg Insomnia Symptoms questionnaire. It differentiates “poor” from “good” sleep by measuring seven areas: subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and daytime dysfunction over the last month.

Results: The study included 92 physicians out of 105 invited to participate in the study, giving a response rate of 87.6%. Their age ranged between 26 and 55 years with a mean of 34.3 years and standard deviation of 5.4 years. Males represent almost two-thirds of them (64.1%). Most of them (78.3%) were poor sleepers during the past month, based on Global PSQI Score. Sleep complaints were reported by 77.2% of the participants. Of them, 18.5% suffered from difficulty falling asleep. Difficulty staying asleep and frequent awakening from sleep were reported as frequent or always complaints by 10.9% and 18.5% of them, respectively. Felling that sleep is not sound and it is unrefreshing were mentioned frequently or always by 18.4% and 26.1% of them, respectively. Sleep complaints had extreme impact on concentration and caused extreme sleepy feeling during the day among 7% of physicians.

Conclusion: Poor sleep quality is a common problem affecting most of physicians in Prince Salman Armed Forces hospital in Tabuk, KSA. It is more reported among ER physicians than family physicians. Sleep complaints have consequences on physician`s work, social and other important parts of life. They are significantly associated with irritability, sleepy during the day and fatigue feelings as well as trouble in concentration.

Key words: Sleep Quality; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; Family Physician; Emergency Room; Saudi Arabia

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