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Comparative Study
, 35 (6), 785-794

Permanent Night Workers´ Sleep and Psychosocial Factors in Hospital Work. A Comparison to Day and Shift Work

Comparative Study

Permanent Night Workers´ Sleep and Psychosocial Factors in Hospital Work. A Comparison to Day and Shift Work

Kati Karhula et al. Chronobiol Int.


We aimed to study whether permanent night workers sleep and psychosocial factors differ from day workers and shift workers. The participants (n = 9 312, 92% females, average age 45 years, most commonly nurses and departmental secretaries) were day workers (DW, n = 2 672), shift workers (SW, n = 6 486) and permanent night workers (PNW, n = 154). The Finnish Public Sector survey responses from six hospital districts from 2012 were combined to payroll data from 91 days preceding the survey. The data were analyzed using Pearson χ2-test, one-way ANOVA and multinomial logistic regression analysis. The PNWs reported slightly longer average sleep length than the SWs or the DWs (7:27 vs. 7:13 and 7:10 h, p < 0.001). The PNWs reported least often difficulties in maintaining sleep (p < 0.001) compared to the SWs and the DWs. The PNWs reported most often difficulties to fall asleep and fatigue during free-time (p-values <0.001). The DWs and PNWs experienced less often work-life conflict than the SWs (25 and 26 vs. 38%, p < 0.001). The PNWs were more often satisfied with autonomy at work and appreciation and fair treatment by colleagues than the DWs or the SWs (p < 0.001). The SWs and PNWs reported remarkably higher occurrence of verbal (p < 0.001, OR 3.71, 95% CI 3.23-4.27 and OR 7.67, 95% CI 5.35-10.99, respectively) and physical workplace violence (p < 0.001, OR 9.24, 95% CI 7.17-11.90 and OR 28.34, 95% CI 16.64-43.06, respectively) compared to DWs. Conclusively, PNWs reported contradictory differences in sleep quality compared to DWs and SWs. PNWs are more often satisfied with their colleagues and autonomy at work than DWs or SWs but face workplace violence remarkably more often.

Keywords: Fixed night shift; health care professional; job satisfaction; payroll data.

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