CONTACT: Lynn Celmer, 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, 
DARIEN, IL – A new study suggests that insomnia decreases empathy in health care workers and may lead to adverse clinical outcomes and medical errors.

Results show that subjects with an Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) of greater than 8, scored significantly higher across all four subscales of empathy.

“Insomnia affects empathy in health care workers, which can lead to adverse clinical outcomes,” said lead author Venkatesh Basappa Krishnamurthy, MD, assistant professor, Sleep Research and Treatment Center, department of psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Monday, June 8, in Seattle, Washington, at SLEEP 2015, the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, chronic insomnia, which affects as many as 10 percent of adults, involves ongoing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep – or regularly waking up earlier than desired – despite an adequate opportunity for sleep.

The study group comprised 97subjects including but not limited to physicians, residents, nurses, nurse assistants, pharmacists, radiology technicians, lab technicians were recruited from Henry Ford Health System. Empathy was measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) across four subscales – fantasy, perspective-taking, empathic concern, and personal distress. Insomnia was measured using the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI).

Abstract Title: Insomnia Affects Empathy in Health Care Workers
Abstract ID:
Presentation Date: Monday, June 8
Presentation Type: Poster 285
Presentation Time: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The SLEEP 2015 abstract supplement is available at

For a copy of the abstract or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Communications Coordinator Lynn Celmer at 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, or

About SLEEP 2015

More than 5,000 sleep medicine physicians and sleep scientists will gather at SLEEP 2015, the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS), which will be held June 6-10 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The scientific program will include about 1,200 research abstract presentations. The APSS is a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society ( 

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicin
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards. With nearly 10,000 members, the AASM is the largest professional membership society for physicians, scientists and other health care providers dedicated to sleep medicine (