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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 144-148

Health effects of night shift duty on nurses in a university teaching hospital in Benin City, Nigeria

Community Health Department, School of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University ofBenin, Benin City, Nigeria,

Correspondence Address:
E C Isah
Community Health Department, School of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University ofBenin, Benin City, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18817055

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OBJECTIVE: This study is aimed at identifying the effects of night shift duty on the health and wellbeing of nurses in order to make recommendations on ways of ameliorating them. METHODS: The study was ofa cross sectional descriptive type using a total sample of nurses in the hospital. Data collection was by means of a semi-structured self-administered questionnaire and the analysis by the computer Programme for Epidemiologists (PEPI). RESULTS: The response rate was 79.3% with a total of 211 (68.1%) having one or more health complaints, which included muscle ache and pains (58.7%), frequent headaches (21.9%), lack of concentration (21.3%) and a negative effect on social life (66.1%). The younger nurses disliked night shift more than the older ones (2 = 57.5, df=6, p = 0.000) and 57.7% felt they were less productive during night shift. The shorter the period of sleep after the night shift, the lesser the level of productivity and the more the manifestation of health symptoms (2 = 45.5, df = 4, p = 0.000 and 2 = 29.0, df = 2, p = 0.000 respectively). CONCLUSION: Night shift duty caused both medical and psychological problems on the nurses. There is a need for medical surveillance, educational programme and the application of sleep hygiene techniques for shift working nurses.

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