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J UOEH. 2008 Mar 1;30(1):1-10.

Anxiety about starting three-shift work among female workers: findings from the Female Shift Workers' Health Study.

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  • 1Asahi Kasei Health Care Center, Asahi Kasei Nobeoka Office, Nobeoka 882-0873, Japan.


In 1999, the Japanese Law on Equal Employment Opportunity and Conditions was amended and the previous prohibition of the assignment of female workers to night work was abolished. Subsequently, the number of female shift workers has been increasing in Japan, necessitating greater attention to the health care of this population. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the relationship between anxiety expressed about starting three-shift work and background characteristics among female workers who were being assigned to three-shift work for the first time. The subjects were 38 middle-aged female workers (age range: 44 to 59 years) who were working at a chemical plant. The women completed a self-administered questionnaire before starting three-shift work. Levels of anxiety about starting three-shift work were assessed by the question 'Do you feel anxious about starting three-shift work?' The available responses were: 'Very agree', 'Considerably agree', 'Rather agree', 'Slightly agree' and 'Not agree at all', and 63% of the subjects gave one of the first two answers, which were defined as indicating anxiety. We also acquired information regarding lifestyle and occupation for each subject, including the following factors: frequency of breakfast consumption, subjective sleep insufficiency, previous experience of similar work before beginning shift work, previous experience of two-shift work, and responsibility for household duties. In the study, we found a marginally statistically significant trend association between frequent breakfast consumption and anxiety about starting three-shift work (P(trend) = 0.09). Anxiety was also high among subjects with sleep disorders, especially those suffering from subjective sleep insufficiency (P = 0.08). Due to the small study population, these results should be interpreted with caution and confirmed by future studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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