The impact of work time control on physicians' sleep and well-being
SourceApplied Ergonomics, 47, (2015), pp. 109-116
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Physicians' work schedules are an important determinant of their own wellbeing and that of their patients. This study considers whether allowing physicians control over their work hours ameliorates the effects of demanding work schedules. A questionnaire was completed by hospital physicians regarding their work hours (exposure to long shifts, short inter-shift intervals, weekend duties, night duties, unpaid overtime; and work time control), sleep (quantity and disturbance) and wellbeing (burnout, stress and fatigue). Work time control moderated the negative impact that frequent night working had upon sleep quantity and sleep disturbance. For participants who never worked long shifts, work time control was associated with fewer short sleeps, but this was not the case for those who did work long shifts. Optimizing the balance between schedule flexibility and patient needs could enhance physicians' sleep when working the night shift, thereby reducing their levels of fatigue and enhancing patient care.
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