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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1058750, 5 pages
Research Article

Influence of Mental Workload on the Performance of Anesthesiologists during Induction of General Anesthesia: A Patient Simulator Study

Department of Anesthesiology, Yokohama City University Hospital, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama 244-0816, Japan

Received 20 January 2016; Revised 27 March 2016; Accepted 28 March 2016

Academic Editor: Danny Chu

Copyright © 2016 Hitoshi Sato et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to reveal the effect of anesthesiologist’s mental workload during induction of general anesthesia. Twenty-two participants were categorized into anesthesiology residents (RA group, ) and board certified anesthesiologists (CA group, ). Subjects participated in three simulated scenarios (scenario A: baseline, scenario B: simple addition tasks, and scenario C: combination of simple addition tasks and treatment of unexpected arrhythmia). We used simple two-digit integer additions every 5 seconds as a secondary task. Four kinds of key actions were also evaluated in each scenario. In scenario C, the correct answer rate was significantly higher in the CA versus the RA group (RA: 0.370 ± 0.050 versus CA: 0.736 ± 0.051, , 95% CI −0.518 to −0.215) as was the score of key actions (RA: 2.7 ± 1.3 versus CA: 4.0 ± 0.00, ). In a serious clinical situation, anesthesiologists might not be able to adequately perform both the primary and secondary tasks. This tendency is more apparent in young anesthesiologists.