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Appl Ergon. 2008 Sep;39(5):597-604. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2008.01.003. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Work schedule differences in sleep problems of nursing home caregivers.

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National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 6-21-1, Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8585, Japan. <>


Nursing home caregivers (n=775; 604 women; mean age 33.6 years) were studied to examine how work schedules affect their sleep. The shift group (n=536) worked under a rotating two-shift system (n=365), a rotating three-shift system (n=66), or other types of shifts (n=78). The non-shift group included 222 caregivers. Participants completed a questionnaire about working conditions, sleep problems, health, lifestyle, and demographic factors. The two-shift caregivers reported the highest levels of difficulty initiating sleep (DIS, 37.6%), insomnia symptoms (43.0%), and poor quality of sleep (24.9%) among the groups. Adjusted odds ratios for these problems were significantly greater for the two-shift caregivers than for non-shift counterparts: DIS (odds ratio 2.86, 95% confidence interval 1.57-5.20), insomnia symptoms (2.33, 1.36-4.02), and poor sleep quality (2.15, 1.09-4.22). Our data suggest that working under a rotating two-shift system, which has a longer night shift, is associated with an elevated risk of sleep problems for nursing home caregivers.

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