Table 1

Inclusion and exclusion criteria based on the PICO framework

ConceptInclusion criteriaExclusion criteria
PopulationDoctors in postgraduate medical training (all grades)
Specialist doctors
General Practitioners
Other health professionals
Studies with no clarification of which health professionals were studied
Doctors undertaking LTFT postgraduate degree courses (eg, MSc or PhD)
Doctors who only work LTFT in academic and not clinical medicine
Doctors accredited in multiple specialties and work LTFT in one of their specialties but work full-time overall
InterventionLTFT or part-time working
Flexible work schedule involving voluntary reduced hours
Externally enforced reduced working hours for example, European Work Time Directive
Studies focused on the flexibility to increase working hours
Studies which describe reduced work hours but which fall outside of the review’s definition of LTFT hours (ie, ≤40 hours per week)
ComparisonFull-time working or no comparison
OutcomesCharacteristics and factors which influence LTFT working for example, sex, age, parenthood, career stage, etc
Patient outcomes, for example, patient safety, patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, etc
Workforce/health services outcomes for example, doctor recruitment, staffing levels of doctor-led healthcare services, attrition from medical career, etc
Doctor outcomes, for example, career satisfaction, well-being, burn-out, etc
Outcomes related to gender differences within the medical profession rather than working patterns
Outcomes related to externally enforced reduced working hours
ContextAny specialty within medicine
Any country
Publications up to March 2022
Studies published in languages other than English
Study typeQuantitative
Mixed methods
Grey literature such as theses, dissertations, government papers and reports from relevant organisations
Conference abstracts unless further data or publications can be obtained from authors
Opinion papers, editorials and commentaries without primary data
Book chapters or sections
  • LTFT, less than full time.