Purpose: To investigate dominant factors affecting fatigue in image reading of radiologists. Methods: Two kinds of fatigue were assessed in this study. One was fatigue in the central nervous system evaluated by the critical fusion frequency (CFF). The other was eye fatigue evaluated by a score determined from a questionnaire based on the oculomotor strain subscale from the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). When fatigue increases, the CFF and the SSQ score indicate low and high values, respectively. The fatigue of seventeen radiologists was assessed before and after their daily image reading. The reading times and the numbers of images were different among the assessments, and ranged about 1.5 – 5.0 hours and 1,000 – 12,000 images, respectively. The assessments of fatigue were repeated four times for each radiologist on different days. Finally, the measurements of the two kinds of fatigue were analyzed in terms of years of experience, age, sleeping time the previous night, ambient light conditions, reading time, and the numbers of interpreted images, series, and cases. Results: The CFF and SSQ score after image reading were significantly lower and higher than those measured before image reading, respectively. Younger and less experienced radiologists indicated a higher level of fatigue than older and more experienced radiologists in both the CFF and the SSQ score. When radiologists interpreted clinical images for longer hours, the SSQ score tended to be higher. On the other hand, there was little incremental difference in the CFF among different lengths of reading time. No obvious differences were observed in the other items. Conclusions: Less experience with reading images, a younger age, and a longer reading time could be dominant factors affecting fatigue in image reading.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging