Strain and health implications of nurses’ shift work
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Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, Padua University, Padua, Italy
Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Padova, Via Loredan, 18, 35128, Padova, Italy
School of Pediatrics Nursing, Padua University Hospital, Padua, Italy
Home Care Service, Local Health Unit No. 4, Medio Friuli, Udine, Italy
School of Specialization in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Padua University, Padua, Italy
Local Health Unit No. 2, Isontina, Gorizia, Italy
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2013;26(4):511-21
Objectives: The study investigated whether nurses' different working schedules are associated with different levels of job-relatd strain, health symptoms and behavior. No reports have been accessible in the relevant literature on the possible association between shift work and job-related strain in nurses. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a large university hospital in North-East Italy, involving 806 nurses working in selected departments. A multilevel logistic regression was applied to assess the association between work shift conditions and selected outcomes. Results: Night shifts were associated not only with higher odds of having a high Job Demand, but also with lower odds of having a high Decision Authority and consequently with a stronger likelihood of having higher levels of Job Strain (high Job Demand score≥ 38 and Low Decision Authority). The night shift was associated with various symptoms, particularly exhaustion (p = 0.039) and gastric pain (p = 0.020). Nurses' working schedules did not affect their job satisfaction scores. Conclusions: It has been confirmed that night shifts are a risk factor for nurses' health perception and working night shifts carries a considerable degree of strain. This is a condition that hospital nursing managements need to consider carefully to avoid burnout in nursing personnel and prevent an excessive turnover in this profession, which is a recurring problem for health care organizations.
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