CBEACH

PROJECT ALERT

THE EFFECTS OF SHIFTWORK ON HEALTH RELATED BEHAVIORS

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Behavioral Ecological Model

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Previous studies have shown shiftwork to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Shiftwork is defined as any work schedule that extends beyond the usual 8-hour workday. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of shiftwork and length of shift on health related behaviors such as sleeping, eating, and physical activity. This study will involve 524 public safety dispatchers, those who answer emergency calls for assistance and dispatch the appropriate form of aid. The dispatchers will be recruited from the 363 primary Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP's) through out California. The data will be collected in two stages using telephone interviews. The first stage will involve interviewing the PSAP directors to obtain information regarding the number of employees at their center, and to obtain their consent to have the dispatchers at their center participate in the second phase of the study. The second stage of the study involves the use of a 1-hour telephone interview to collect information from the dispatchers regarding their eating, sleeping and physical activity behaviors during a typical work and non work day, during their current shift. Outcome measures include percentage of total calories from fat, MET's, and number of hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Two sample t tests will be used to test for significant differences between day and shift workers. Public safety dispatchers are a unique group, in that the majority are female and that they perform a high stress sedentary task, therefore the information learned from this study will make an important contribution to the literature concerning the health effects of shiftwork.

Principal Investigator: Mel Hovell, PhD, MPH

Co-Principal Investigator: Kristen Keating, MPH

Funded 1998-2000

Source: National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (CDC)

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