The association between shift work and sick leave: a systematic review.

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Occupational and environmental medicine (Impact Factor: 3.64). 07/2012; 69(10):701-12. DOI: 10.1136/oemed-2011-100488
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Shift work is associated with a number of negative health outcomes, although it is not known whether it is associated with sick leave. This systematic review therefore aimed to determine whether an association exists between shift work and sick leave. A systematic literature search was conducted in six databases on observational studies. Two reviewers independently selected relevant articles and appraised methodological quality. Data extraction was performed independently by review couples. Articles were categorised according to shift work characteristics and summarised using a levels of evidence synthesis. In total, the search strategy yielded 1207 references, of which 24 studies met the inclusion criteria. Nine studies were appraised as high quality and used in the levels of evidence synthesis. Two high quality longitudinal studies found a positive association between fixed evening shifts and longer sick leave for female healthcare workers. The evidence was assessed as strong. Evidence was inconclusive for rotating shifts, shift work including nights, for fixed night work, and for 8-hour and 12-hour shifts. The association found between evening work and sick leave in female healthcare workers implies that the association between shift work and sick leave might be schedule and population specific. To study the association further, more high quality studies are necessary that assess and adjust for detailed shift work exposure.

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    ABSTRACT: Shiftwork, regarded as a significant occupational stressor, has become increasingly prevalent across a wide range of occupations. The adverse health outcomes associated with shiftwork are well documented. Shiftwork is an integral part of law enforcement, a high-stress occupation with elevated risks of chronic disease and mortality. Sickness absence is an important source of productivity loss and may also serve as an indirect measure of workers' morbidity. Prior studies of shiftwork and sickness absenteeism have yielded varying results and the association has not been examined specifically among police officers. The objective of this study was to compare the incidence rate of sick leave (any, ≥3 consecutive days) among day-, afternoon-, and night-shift workers in a cohort of police officers and also examine the role of lifestyle factors as potential moderators of the association. Participants (N = 464) from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) study examined between 2004 and 2009 were used. Daily work history records that included the shift schedule, number of hours worked, and occurrence of sick leave were available for up to 15 yrs starting in 1994 to the date of the BCOPS study examination for each officer. Poisson regression analysis for ungrouped data was used to estimate incidence rates (IRs) of sick leave by shift, and comparison of IRs across shifts were made by computing incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Sick leave occurred at a higher rate on the night shift (4.37 per 10 000 person-hours) compared with either day (1.55 per 10 000 person-hours) or afternoon (1.96 per 10 000 person-hours) shifts. The association between shiftwork and sickness absence depended on body mass index (BMI). For overweight individuals (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2)), the covariate-adjusted incidence rate of sick leave (≥1 day) was twice as large for night-shift officers compared with those working on the day (IRR = 2.29, 95% CI: 1.69-3.10) or afternoon (IRR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.29-2.34) shift. The IR of three or more consecutive days of sick leave was 1.7 times larger for those working on night shift (IRR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.17-2.31) and 1.5 times larger for those working on afternoon shift (IRR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.08-2.08) compared with day shiftworkers. For subjects with normal BMI (<25 kg/m(2)), the incidence rates of sick leave did not differ significantly across shifts. In conclusion, shiftwork is independently associated with sickness absence, with officers who work the night shift having elevated incidence of sick leave. In addition, overweight officers who work the night shift may be at additional risk for sickness absence.
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether fatigue can be used to screen nursing populations for risk of sickness absence. Data were available from a prospective cohort study of 2,059 Norwegian nurses working in hospital care, psychiatric care, and nursing home/home care settings. Physical and mental fatigue were measured at baseline with Chalder's Fatigue Questionnaire (FQ). Self-rated sickness absence at 1-year follow-up was considered high if nurses reported >30 sick days in the past year. Physical fatigue accurately predicted high sickness absence and adequately discriminated between high- and low-risk nurses in nursing home/home care settings. Mental fatigue was not predictive in any setting. The FQ is suitable for screening specific nursing populations for the risk of high sickness absence. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Shift workers are at greater risk than day workers with respect to psychological and physical health, yet little research has linked shift work to increased sickness absence.AimsTo investigate the relationship between shift work and sickness absence while controlling for organ- izational and individual characteristics and shift work attributes that have confounded previous research.Methods The study used archive data collected from three national surveys in Canada, each involving over 20000 employees and 6000 private-sector firms in 14 different occupational groups. The employees reported the number of paid sickness absence days in the past 12 months. Data were analysed using both chi-squared statistics and hierarchical regressions.ResultsContrary to previous research, shift workers took less paid sickness absence than day workers. There were no differences in the length of the sickness absence between both groups or in sickness absence taken by female and male workers whether working days or shifts. Only job tenure, the presence of a union in the workplace and working rotating shifts predicted sickness absence in shift workers. The results were consistent across all three samples.Conclusions In general, shift work does not seem to be linked to increased sickness absence. However, such associations may be true for specific industries. Male and female workers did not differ in the amount of sickness absence taken. Rotating shifts, regardless of industry, predicted sickness absence among shift workers. Consideration should be given to implementing scheduled time off between shift changes.
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