On-call work and health: a review

Environ Health. 2004 Dec 8;3(1):15. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-3-15.


Many professions in the fields of engineering, aviation and medicine employ this form of scheduling. However, on-call work has received significantly less research attention than other work patterns such as shift work and overtime hours. This paper reviews the current body of peer-reviewed, published research conducted on the health effects of on-call work The health effects studies done in the area of on-call work are limited to mental health, job stress, sleep disturbances and personal safety. The reviewed research suggests that on-call work scheduling can pose a risk to health, although there are critical gaps in the literature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Health*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Time Factors
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*