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The impact of shift work on sleep quality among nurses

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kirstie Anderson


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© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine. All rights reserved. Background Shift work is common among nurses, and it is known to be a workplace hazard as it may cause poor sleep quality, which can impact adversely on the health and safety of nurses and their patients. Aims To explore factors that contribute to poor sleep quality in shift working nurses (SWNs) compared with non-shift working nurses (NSWNs) and to assess the awareness of support from occupational health. Methods Cross-sectional study of nurses at a National Health Service (NHS) foundation trust, February to March 2016. Data were collected via an online questionnaire. Sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results Eight hundred and eighty-eight nurses participated; the response rate was 34%. The prevalence of poor sleep quality was 78% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.748-0.813) in the SWNs, compared with 59% (95% CI 0.503-0.678) in the NSWNs. There was a mean sleep quality score difference of 1.58 between the SWNs and the NSWNs, which was statistically significant, P < 0.001 (95% CI 0.913-2.246). Undertaking shift work was the only significant association with poor sleep quality when controlling for the other variables of age, gender and number of years worked, odds ratio 0.410, P < 0.001 (95% CI 0.265-0.634). Conclusions There was a high prevalence of poor sleep quality in both SWNs and NSWNs. This was persistent despite few nurses working in rotating shifts or shifts with short recovery time.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McDowall K, Murphy E, Anderson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Occupational Medicine

Year: 2017

Volume: 67

Issue: 8

Pages: 621-625

Print publication date: 02/12/2017

Online publication date: 10/10/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0962-7480

ISSN (electronic): 1471-8405

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqx152


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