The Standard Shiftwork Index – A Battery of Questionnaires for Assessing Shiftwork-Related Problems

University of Verona, Verona, Veneto, Italy
Work and Stress (Impact Factor: 3). 01/1995; 9(1):4-30. DOI: 10.1080/02678379508251582


The lack of standardization in shiftwork research has been recognized. In response, a battery of selfreport questionnaires has been developed, which might usefully be employed in assessing the impact of different types of shift systems on large groups of individuals. The scales included reflect the most pertinent issues within shiftwork research, and were chosen on the basis of being both relatively short, easy to administer, and having good psychometric properties. The scales fall broadly into three main categories: outcomes, relating to the actual problems experienced by the individuals concerned; modifiers, relating to those differences between individuals which may serve to moderate the impact of shiftwork; and general, including work context and shift system details. Suggestions as to how the questionnaires might usefully be employed are offered. Based on the results of a large sample of nurses and midwives, and a second sample of industrial and service workers, the present paper offers: a set of normative data against which comparisons with other shiftworking groups can be made; the identification of the relationships that exist between the outcome and modifier variables; and evidence of the sensitivity of the scales in differentiating between groups of shiftworkers on different types of shift systems.

    • "Participants completed a shortened version of the Standard Shiftwork Index, which has been widely used in shiftwork populations globally (Barton et al., 1995), for a review, the reader is directed to Tucker and Knowles (2008). The SSI included questions on age (y), gender (m/f), length of time in shiftwork (y), shift duration (h), total hours worked/week (h) and industry. "
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    ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that shiftworkers may consume alcohol to help them sleep, resulting in greater consumption. A large study in Australian workers suggested that those on non-standard schedules (outside 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday) do not drink more, but are at increased odds of binge drinking (heavy periods of drinking followed by abstinence) than workers on standard schedules. However, differences in types of non-standard schedules were not examined in the study. The current study examined the alcohol intake of Australian shiftworkers on fixed and rotating shifts. Shiftworkers (n=118, age=43.4±9.9y, 68% male) on 12h-rotating (n=29), 8h-rotating (n=29), morning (n=33) and night (n=27) schedules from printing, postal, nursing and oil industries participated. They completed a Cancer Council Dietary Questionnaire, recording frequency and amount of alcohol consumed on average per day over the preceding year. They also completed a shortened Standard Shiftwork Index, including questions on shift schedule, sleep duration, tiredness, gender and age. Average alcohol consumption was 9.6±13.1 standard drinks/week. One in six reported using alcohol as a sleep aid between shifts at least sometimes and nearly one third reported consuming 12 or more drinks in 24h. Alcohol consumption was higher for males and decreased with age. Controlling for gender and age, there were no significant differences between shift types in standard drinks/week (p=0.50). However, those on 12-h rotating shifts consumed more drinks per 24h (p=0.04) and had less sleep (p<0.001). Results support the suggestion that shiftworkers are likely to binge drink, particularly younger, male workers and those on long, rotating shifts. Alcohol use in shiftworkers may put increased pressure on already vulnerable physiological systems.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Accident; analysis and prevention
    • "The questionnaire was promoted using flyers and online sharing through social media. Participants were asked to complete four questionnaires online; the Circadian Type Inventory (CTI, 18-item version; Barton et al., 1995) to measure circadian flexibility and languidity, the Composite Scale of Morningness (CSM; Smith et al., 1989) to measure chronotype, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI; Buysse et al., 1989) to measure sleep quality and disturbance, and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS; Johns, 1991) to measure daytime sleepiness, in combination with questions concerning demographics. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate individual differences in the subjective flexibility of the circadian system in a community sample, with respect to age, gender, chronotype, and sleepiness perceptions. An online questionnaire containing the Circadian Type Inventory, the Composite Scale of Morningness, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale was administered. In addition, participants performed a visuo-verbal judgment task to determine time-of-day variations in estimated sleepiness. We analyzed data of 752 participants, aged between 18 and 83 years, who reported good sleep quality, no sleep disturbances, no excessive daytime sleepiness, and no engagement in shiftwork. Our results suggest gender- and chronotype-related differences in the subjective flexibility of the circadian system. Subjective circadian flexibility was higher in men in comparison with women and was positively related to evening preference. Age was not associated with flexibility scores. Additionally, the subjective flexibility of the circadian system had an influence on estimated sleepiness profiles: individuals with a high flexibility displayed lower sleepiness estimations during the biological night in comparison to individuals with a low flexibility. These findings suggests that, next to known chronotype and other dispositional differences, subjective circadian flexibility should be taken into account when evaluating tolerance to activities associated with nighttime functioning (e.g. night shifts).
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Chronobiology International
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    • "A number of validated questionnaires exist that are extensively used to retrospectively assess e.g. health, sleep quality and sleep duration for different work shifts (Barton et al. 1995; Flo et al. 2012; Juda, Vetter, and Roenneberg 2013). Retrospective assessment might also provide to be useful for assessing need for recovery and sleep separately for different on-call scenarios. "
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to (1) examine whether need for recovery differs between workers (i) not on-call, (ii) on-call but not called and (iii) on-call and called, and (2) investigate the associations between age, health, work and social characteristics with need for recovery for the three scenarios (i-iii). Cross-sectional data of N = 169 Dutch distal on-call workers were analysed with multivariate logistic regression. Need for recovery differed significantly between the three scenarios (i-iii), with lowest need for recovery for scenario (i) 'not on-call' and highest need for recovery for scenario (iii) 'on-call and called'. Poor mental health and high work-family interference were associated with higher need for recovery in all three scenarios (i-iii), whereas high work demands was only associated with being on-call (ii and iii). The results suggest that the mere possibility of being called affects the need for recovery, especially in workers reporting poor mental health, high-work demands and work-family interference.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Ergonomics
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