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Proceedings Paper

Feasibility of using a biowatch to monitor GSR as a measure of radiologists' stress and fatigue
Author(s): Elizabeth A. Krupinski; Lea MacKinnon; Bruce I. Reiner
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Paper Abstract

We have been investigating the impact of fatigue on diagnostic performance of radiologists interpreting medical images. In previous studies we found evidence that eye strain could be objectively measured and that it correlates highly with degradations in diagnostic accuracy as radiologists work long hours. Eye strain however can be difficult to measure in a non-invasive and continuous manner over the work day so we have been investigating other ways to measure physiological stress and fatigue. In this study we evaluated the feasibility of using a commercially available biowatch to measure galvanic skin response (GSR), a well known indicator of stress. 10 radiology residents wore the biowatch for about 8 hours during their normal work day and data were automatically collected at 10 Hz. They completed the Swedish Occupational Fatigue Inventory (SOFI) at the start and finish of the day. GSR values (microsiemens) ranged from 0.14 to 38.27 with an average of 0.50 (0.28 median). Overall GSR tended to be fairly constant as the day progressed, but there were definite spikes indicating higher levels of stress. SOFI scores indicated greater levels of fatigue and stress at the end of the work day. Although further work is needed, GSR measurements obtained via an easy to wear watch may provide a means to monitor stress/fatigue and alert radiologists when to take a break from interpreting images to avoid making errors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 March 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9416, Medical Imaging 2015: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment, 941613 (17 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2077306
Show Author Affiliations
Elizabeth A. Krupinski, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Lea MacKinnon, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Bruce I. Reiner, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9416:
Medical Imaging 2015: Image Perception, Observer Performance, and Technology Assessment
Claudia R. Mello-Thoms; Matthew A. Kupinski, Editor(s)

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