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April 2021
Eytan Damari MD, Alon Farfel MD, Itai Berger MD, Reut Ron, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The effect of extended shift length on pediatric residency is controversial. Israeli residents perform shifts extending up to 26 hours, a practice leading to general dissatisfaction. In early 2020, during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many Israeli hospitals transitioned from 26-hour shifts to 13-hour shifts in fixed teams (capsules) followed by a 24-hour rest period at home. The regulation changes enacted by the Israeli government during the COVID-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity to assess perception by residents regarding length of shifts before and after the change.

Objectives: To assess perception of pediatric residency in three aspects: resident wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and acquisition of medical education following the change to the shorter shifts model.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational study among pediatric residents. Residents completed an online self-assessment questionnaire before and after the COVID-19 emergency regulations changed toward shorter shifts.

Results: Sixty-seven residents answered the questionnaires before (37) and after (30) the shift changes. The average score was significantly better for the 13-hour shifts versus the 26-hour shifts, except for questions regarding available time for research. There was a positive perception regarding the shorter night shifts model among pediatric residents, with an increase in general satisfaction and improvement in perception of general wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and medical education acquisition.

Conclusions: Following the change to shorter shift length, perception of pediatric residents included improvement in wellness, ability to deliver quality healthcare, and availability of medical education

Michal Vinker-Shuster MD, Ephraim S. Grossman PhD, and Yonatan Yeshayahu MD

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) social-distancing strategy, including 7 weeks of strict lockdown, enabled an extraordinary test of stay-at-home regulations, which forced a sedentary lifestyle on all children and adolescents.

Objectives: To assess the lockdown effect on pediatric weight.

Methods: A retrospective-prospective cohort study at our hospital’s pediatric outpatient clinics following the COVID-19 lockdown. Patients aged 0–18 years visiting the clinic were weighed and previous weight and other clinical data were collected from the medical charts. Weight-percentile-for-age standardization was calculated according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization growth tables. Pre- and post-lockdown weight-percentiles-for-age were compared using paired t-test. Multivariate analysis was conducted using linear regression model.

Results: The study was comprised of 229 patients; 117/229 (51.1%) were boys, 60/229 (26.2%) aged under 6 years. Total mean weight-percentile was significantly higher following the lockdown (40.44 vs. 38.82, respectively, P = 0.029). Boys had a significant post-lockdown weight-percentile rise (37.66 vs. 34.42, P = 0.014), whereas girls had higher baseline pre-quarantine weight-percentile of 43.42, which did not change. Patients younger than 6 years had a significant increase in weight-percentiles (39.18 vs. 33.58, P = 0.021). In multivariate analysis these correlations were preserved.

Conclusions: A general weight gain among children was noted, especially in boys during the lockdown, with substantial effect under the age of 6 years. This collateral side-effect should be considered in further quarantine regulations

November 2019
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