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A comparative study on the effects of night shift on psychomotor vigilance and mathematical abilities of the nurses of different chronotypes

Parth R Nayak, Anupkumar M Vegad.


Background: Individuals have different preference of doing certain work at certain hours. This preference is called chronotype and it can have influenced on shift workers. The work of nursing profession in demanding and the long shift work, especially the night shift work, can impact one’s vigilance and mathematical abilities which can result in increased risk of patient’s safety.

Aims and Objectives: The present study was undertaken to observe the effects of night shift on psychomotor vigilance and mathematical abilities of the nurses of different chronotypes.

Materials and Methods: A total of 50 nurses working at various hospitals of Junagadh city were studied for their chronotype. Their psychomotor vigilance and mathematical abilities near the end of their night shift and morning shift were studied.

Results: Psychomotor vigilance and mathematical abilities of morning chronotype were highly affected by the night shift while they were at their best after the morning shift. Evening chronotype was affected by both the morning and night shift; however, their performance did not decrease drastically like morning chronotypes.

Conclusion: Ten hours night shift and lack of conducive environment at home for the naps might have resulted in inability to cope up with the interference in circadian cycle by the night shift. Reduction in the shift length might improve the performance of morning chronotypes after the night shift and evening chronotypes after the morning shift.

Key words: Night Shift; Psychomotor Vigilance; Nurses; Chronotypes

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