A systematic review of fatigue in radiology: Is it a problem?

Nadia Stec, Danielle Arje, Alan R. Moody, Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Pascal N. Tyrrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to review current literature regarding radiologist fatigue. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A literature search was performed using PubMed. Key words and Medical Subject Heading terms were used to generate refned queries with inclusion and exclusion criteria, focusing on fatigue and error. Results were selected according to these criteria: examined radiologist fatigue and radiologic error stemming from fatigue; experimental results measured as accuracy, error, or performance; and peer-reviewed publication. The risk of bias was addressed by including both quantitative and qualitative studies. RESULTS. Twenty-seven articles were included, mainly primary research articles. Common outcome measures included subjective self-reports and tests to measure eyestrain. Reaction time was also recorded, accounting for variables such as age and experience. One group recommended that guidelines should be implemented regarding number of hours worked. Most recommended ergonomic interventions, proposing the implementation of tools to measure and standardize fatigue and optimize workflow, in conjunction with considering radiologists individually. Education in appropriate viewing habits and breaks were also suggested. Only one study with seven participants recommended that radiologists should sleep well to improve their performance and overall well-being, despite the undeniable evidence that radiologists are fatigued. CONCLUSION. Fatigue is present in radiology and affects diagnostic accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-806
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Accuracy
  • Error
  • Fatigue
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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