Work-related self-assessed fatigue and recovery among nurses
- 1.2k Downloads
Adequate recovery opportunities are crucial for preventing long-term health effects of acute load reactions in response to stressful work. However, little is known about the time course of recovery from work during non-working days. Thus, the present study assessed recovery from two consecutive 12-hours day shifts during a period of three rest days among nurses.
In total, 48 nurses (89.6% females) working in three public Austrian nursing homes completed 5-day self-reporting diaries prior to a work phase consisting of two consecutive 12-hours day shifts followed by three consecutive rest days. Therefore, morning and evening fatigue, distress, vigor and sleep were self-assessed by standardized questionnaires. We analyzed the data using multivariate analysis of variance for repeated measures.
Study participants experienced worse well-being and a greater decline in well-being on working days compared to rest days. Well-being increased from rest day 1 to rest day 2 in fatigue, vigor and distress. Rest day 2 to rest day 3 showed a further improvement in fatigue and vigor.
Understanding the concepts of allostatic load, need for recovery and fatigue is essential to develop personalized working schedules. The results suggest that at least three rest days are necessary for full recovery after two consecutive 12-hours day shifts. Thus, adequate time for recovery enables nurses to maintain caring attitudes with patients, thus contributing to patient safety.
KeywordsWork-related fatigue Caregivers Nursing homes Recovery from work Resource depletion Allostatic load
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Burdelak W, Bukowska A, Krysicka J, Peplonska B (2012) Night work and health status of nurses and midwives. cross-sectional study. Med Pr 63(5):517–529Google Scholar
- Estryn-Behar M, Van der Heijden BI (2012) Effects of extended work shifts on employee fatigue, health, satisfaction, work/family balance, and patient safety. Work 1:4283–4290Google Scholar
- Kallus KW (1995) Erholungs–Belastungs–Fragebogen (EBF) [Recovery Stress Questionnaire (RESTQ)]. Swets, FrankfurtGoogle Scholar
- Martin DM (2015) Nurse fatigue and shift length: a pilot study. Nurs Econ 33(2):81–87Google Scholar
- Nitsch J (1976) Die Eigenzustandsskala (EZ-Skalal)-Ein Verfahren zur hierarchisch-mehrdimensionalen Befindlichkeitsskalierung. In: Nitsch JR, Udris I (eds) Beanspruchung im Sport. Limpert, Bad Hombug v.d.H., pp 81–102Google Scholar
- Peters V, de Rijk A, Engels J, Heerkens Y, Nijhuis F (2016) A new typology of work schedules: evidence from a cross-sectional study among nurses working in residential elder care. Work 7:7Google Scholar
- Prather AA, Janicki-Deverts D, Hall MH, Cohen S (2015) Behaviorally assessed sleep and susceptibility to the common cold. Sleep 38(9):1353–1359Google Scholar
- Sonnentag S (2000) Work, recovery activities, and individual well-being: a diary study. Int J Psychol 35(3–4):399–399Google Scholar
- Virtanen M et al (2009) Long working hours and sleep disturbances: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study. Sleep 32(6):737–745Google Scholar