Lifestyle Medicine: Lifestyle Profile of Resident Doctors in a Nigerian Tertiary Health Institution.

  • AJK Madaki
  • KM Alabi
  • N Lar-Ndam
  • M Gyang
Keywords: Resident doctors, lifestyle behaviours and Residents' wellbeing.


Lifestyle behavours of Physicians are becoming increasingly important because of the dual benefits of safeguarding the physicians' health and promotion of good patient health outcome. Resident doctors at tertiary institutions provide the bulk of service to patients hence the need to identify their lifestyle behaviours and advocate for the promotion of healthy behavioural practices. The objective of this study was to identify the lifestyle practices of doctors in a postgraduate medical training and to advocate for a modification of harmful practices so as to promote trainees' wellbeing and facilitate better patients' health outcomes. A cross-sectional study was carried out in which one hundred and twenty (120) questionnaires were distributed to resident doctors at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital and 74 were returned giving a response rate of 62%. The self-administered questionnaires were filled anonymously and information was collected on diet, sleep, exercise, smoking, television viewing time, self-reported perceived body status, self-reported health status and spirituality. Analysis was carried out using EPI info Statistical package (CDC Epi Info Atlanta-2005) and all results with P < 5% were considered significant. Sixty-five percent of the doctors were engaging in harmful behaviours of cigarette smoking-4%, use of alcohol-9%, preference for soft drink -16%; not doing exercise- 46%; and low sleep duration (<6hrs)-26%. Senior registrars eat more fruits weekly as compared to junior registrars (3 days vs 2 days P < 0.049). Senior registrars spent an average of 38 minutes on exercise as against registrars' 22 minutes (P= 0.04). 63% of senior registrars as against 30% of registrars often met the required minimum exercise duration of 30 minutes (P= 0.02). Average daily sleep duration for senior registrars was 7 hours as against 6 hours for registrars. 25% of registrars as against 6.5% of senior registrar had less than 6 hours of sleep the previous night (P = 0.04). Ninety-four percent of senior registrars as against 49% of junior registrars knew the correct definition of spirituality (P = 0.03). The lifestyle behaviours of resident doctors in this health facility with respect to diet, sleep, smoking and exercise fall short of safe and recommended standards. There is need for a lifestyle medicine programme to improve such behaviours.

Key Words: Resident doctors, lifestyle behaviours and Residents' wellbeing.


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eISSN: 1597-7889