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A comparison of 8-hour versus 12-hour shift duration on fatigue and fatigue-related indicators in Emergency Medical Services and related shift workers: A systematic review

Kroemer, Andrew (2017) A comparison of 8-hour versus 12-hour shift duration on fatigue and fatigue-related indicators in Emergency Medical Services and related shift workers: A systematic review. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Extensive literature over the past 30 years has examined the harmful effects of fatigue in a shiftwork setting. Long duration shifts have been linked to higher levels of fatigue and higher incidence of fatigue-related outcomes. We systematically reviewed the literature to determine if physical and psychological well-being differs by 8-hour and 12-hour shift durations.
We used a systematic literature review study design and searched five databases and one website: PubMed/Medline, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Scopus, PsycINFO, the Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress (PILOTS), and the publications section of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) website. We isolated our focus to studies that included EMS personnel and related shift workers, used the Standard Shiftwork Index (SSI), compared outcomes between 8-hour and 12-hour shifts, and reported the following outcomes job satisfaction, cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, psychological well-being, neuroticism, extraversion, digestive problems, cardiovascular problems, social disruption, domestic disruption, non-domestic disruption, sleep quality, and chronic fatigue. Details of the initial search are reported in a separate paper. Meta-analyses were performed when appropriate.
Initial screening was completed for 21,674 records. Of the 480 articles reviewed pertaining to shift duration, only 38 (7.9%) compared 8 and 12-hour shifts. Six studies reported findings germane to our outcome of interest. The meta-analysis revealed participants significantly favored the 12-hour shift for social disruption. When comparing 8-hour afternoon shift to 12-hour days shift and 8-hour night shift to 12-hour night shift, the 8-hour shifts were favored for sleep duration. No other outcomes reached a statistically significant difference.
Twelve-hour shifts produce less social disruption based on having one less day of work. With 1/5 of the US workforce working shifts other than the standard 9-5 shift, shiftwork research like this study has a huge public health significance. Further shiftwork research surrounding social disruption is needed; Employers should tailor their shift schedules to their specific tasks and also prioritize outcomes in order of importance to their occupation.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kroemer, Andrewajk147@pitt.eduajk147
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRuppert, Kristineruppertk@pitt.eduruppertkUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberPatterson, Paulpattersonpd@upmc.edupdp3UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSonger, Thomastjs@pitt.edutjsUNSPECIFIED
Date: 2017
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 83
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 15:56
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2021 06:15


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