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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-23

Are rotational night shifts taking its toll on health-care professionals? A pilot study

Department of Community Medicine, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. D Vinoth Gnana Chellaiyan
Department of Community Medicine, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_122_20

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Background: It has always been suggested that sleep deprivation has a deleterious effect on the ability of health workers who are involved in multitude of life-saving tasks, which often require more attention and concentration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the national health portal (Government of India) have now recognized sleep deprivation as a public health epidemic. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done including health-care professionals working night shifts on rotation at a tertiary level health-care facility, using a semi-structured questionnaire to test the status of their sleep deprivation, cognitive ability, and quality of life as a pilot study. Stratified random sampling was used to select the study participants and health-care professionals with other factors which may interfere with sleep deprivation testing were excluded. Data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS, and required statistical tests were applied (Pearson Chi-square, Fisher exact, Spearman correlation, and Wilcoxon signed-rank test). Results: About 95.12% of participants reported < 6 h of sleep post night shifts, of which 51.2% were found to show signs of sleep deprivation. Of this 51.2%, 28.57% were also found to have lower cognitive function scores, and statistically significant lower cognitive scores were observed during night shifts than during day shifts. The median value of the Montreal cognitive assessment (MOCA) score during the night shift was 27 (interquartile range [IQR] = 4) and the median value of MOCA score during the day shift was 29 (IQR = 1). A poor QOL was observed in 17.07% of the study participants, and it was found to have a significant positive correlation with hours of sleep obtained. Conclusion: The results from the present study points towards a significantly high burden of sleep deprivation among health-care professionals working rotational shifts (51.2%). This warrants a need for further evaluation on larger populations and adoption of comprehensive measures including preventive and promotive aspects like sleep counselling and yoga/meditation for management.

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