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Impact of the European Working Time Directive on exposure to operative cardiac surgical training



Impact of the European Working Time Directive on exposure to operative cardiac surgical training



European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 30(4): 574-577



To evaluate the impact of the reduced working hours, an anticipated decline in case load and increasing patient risk profile, we performed a cohort study to determine the factors that influenced operative surgical training. A historic cohort study design was utilised, and data were acquired from a prospective operative surgical database a year before, and a year after the introduction of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) compliant rota (1st August 2004). Logistic regression was used to determine the predictors of operative surgical training, and individual variables were ranked by likelihood ratio. In total, 3312 cardiac surgical operations were performed over a 2-year period between 3rd August 2003 and 31st July 2005. The proportion of cases performed by trainees was 39% (626/1587) in the year before and 40% (695/1725) in the year after the introduction of WTD compliant rota. There were no differences in operative risk (logistic EuroSCORE of 8, P=0.853). Independent predictors for surgery performed by a trainee (in descending order of influence) were the consultant in charge (chi11(2) 273.1; P<0.001), procedure performed (chi5(2) 163.5; P<0.001), increasing seniority of trainee (chi2(2) 142.3; P<0.001), revision surgery (chi1(2) 45.9; P<0.001), lower EuroSCORE (chi1(2) 17.6; P<0.001), and better ventricular function (chi2(2) 7.8; P=0.020). The odds ratio of an operation performed by a trainee increased after the introduction of the EWTD compliant rota to 1.19 (95% CI 1.00-1.41; P=0.045). With a successful institution-specific training module and a commitment to training, exposure to operative surgical training can be sustained despite shortening of working hours.

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Accession: 049297947

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PMID: 16857364

DOI: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2006.04.024


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