The association between rotating shift work and increased occupational stress in nurses.

Research paper by Pei-Chen PC Lin, Chung-Hey CH Chen, Shung-Mei SM Pan, Yao-Mei YM Chen, Chih-Hong CH Pan, Hsin-Chia HC Hung, Ming-Tsang MT Wu

Indexed on: 12 May '15Published on: 12 May '15Published in: Journal of occupational health


The aim of this study was to investigate whether rotating shift work increases occupational stress in nurses.This study measured shift work scheduling and occupational stress by using the Effort-Reward Imbalance model with self-reported questionnaires in a sample of 654 female nurses.Overcommitment risk was higher in nurses who worked rotating shifts than in those who worked day/non-night shifts (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.03-4.66). However, an effort/reward imbalance was not directly associated with work schedules (OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 0.87-4.35). Among nurses working rotation rotating shifts, those who had 2 days off after their most recent night shifts showed an alleviated risk of overcommitment (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.82), but those who had worked for at least one series of 7 consecutive work days per month had an increased risk of effort/reward imbalance (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.69-4.48). Additionally, those who had little or no participation in planning working hours and shift scheduling and worked overtime at least three times per week during the preceding 2 months tended to have high stress.The nurses who worked rotating shifts tended to experience work-related stress, but their stress levels improved if they had at least 2 days off after their most recent night shift and if they were not scheduled to work 7 consecutive days. These empirical data can be used to optimize work schedules for nurses to alleviate work stress.