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August/September 2010 (vol. 07/2)

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Research Plus

Shiftworking linked to errors

Higher shift frequency and reduced between-shift recovery time may increase the risk of clinical errors, a study at five hospitals finds. Nearly 1,500 nurses completed anonymous questionnaires on working conditions, job stress and sleepiness. A follow-up assessed self-perceived clinical errors resulting in harm to a patient over the previous six months. After adjusting for confounding factors, nurses doing a three-shift (eight-hour) rotation recorded 40% more errors over the six months compared with those working a two-shift (12-hour) system (p <0.001). Nurses in both systems did similar amounts of night work.

Industrial Health 2010, 48, 357–364

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Occupational Health at Work August/September 2010 (vol. 07/2) pp38-39