Veille documentaire MTPH

Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Novel method of measuring the mental workload of anaesthetists during clinical practice

Auteur     A J Byrne
Auteur     M Oliver
Auteur     O Bodger
Auteur     W A Barnett
Auteur     D Williams
Auteur     H Jones
Auteur     A Murphy
Résumé     BACKGROUND Cognitive overload has been recognized as a significant cause of error in industries such as aviation and measuring mental workload has become a key method of improving safety. The aim of this study was to pilot the use of a new method of measuring mental workload in the operating theatre using a previously published methodology. METHODS The mental workload of the anaesthetists was assessed by measuring their response times to a wireless vibrotactile device and the NASA TLX subjective workload score during routine surgical procedures. Primary task workload was inferred from the phase of anaesthesia. RESULTS Significantly increased response time was associated with the induction phase of anaesthesia compared with maintenance/emergence, non-consultant grade, and during more complex cases. Increased response was also associated with self-reported mental load, physical load, and frustration. These findings are consistent with periods of increased mental workload and with the findings of other studies using similar techniques. CONCLUSIONS These findings confirm the importance of mental workload to the performance of anaesthetists and suggest that increased mental workload is likely to be a common problem in clinical practice. Although further studies are required, the method described may be useful for the measurement of the mental workload of anaesthetists.
Publication     British Journal of Anaesthesia
Volume     105
Numéro     6
Pages     767-771
Date     Dec 2010

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