Assessing the functional performance of post-call hospital doctors using a Nintendo Wii.

Sleep deprivation is an established part of the working life for Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs) in Ireland. Concern exists about the effect of extended NCHD work hours. We utilised a Nintendo Wii to evaluate motor function of NCHDs both prior to their on-call shift and the day afterwards. Data was exported to SPSS ver. 15 for statistical analysis with p < 0.05 considered significant. A total of 72 NCHDs were invited to participate in this study. There was a 62.5% (45) rate of follow-up. Overall 27 (60%) NCHDs were on medical call, with 18 (40%) on surgical call. There was no statistically significant difference between NCHDs pre-and post-call motor assessment scores. The majority of study participants (75.5%, n = 34) had four or more hours sleep. On-call duty allows for a greater than anticipated amount of sleep per on-call shift and therefore has a negligible effect on the motor skills of medical staff.