Aim: This paper is a report of a study of the factors that influence sleep quality and quality of life among shift-working nurses and the relationship between their sleep quality and quality of life.
Background: Although shift-working nurses strive to adapt their life schedules to shift rotations, they tend to suffer from severe sleep disturbances and increased rates of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, digestive disease and irregular menstrual cycles. Poor sleep is also associated with medical errors and occupational injuries.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008 with a convenience sample of 435 female nurses from five regional hospitals in Taiwan. Data were collected on sleep quality and quality of life using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument-BREF Taiwan version respectively. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, independent t-tests, analysis of variance and Pearson correlations.
Findings: The majority of female shift workers (57%) had global sleep-quality scores > or = 5, indicating poor sleep and all mean scores in four domains of the quality-of-life measure were statistically significantly lower than those of females in Taiwan's general population. Scores for poor sleep quality and quality of life were related to premenstrual dysphoria, occupational injury, illness and medication use. In addition, the associations between scores on the sleep-quality and quality-of-life scales were statistically significantly inversely correlated.
Conclusion: Advice should be included in both undergraduate programmes and continuing education to help nurses to recognize and improve their own sleep quality and life quality managers should create a supportive environment to encourage shift-working nurses to engage in healthy behaviours.