Jun 11, 2008

Not all research studies on shiftwork are created equal

Today I saw in Occupational Health & Safety (OHSonline.com) an article titled "Study Supports Naps for Night-Shift Nurses."  The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba Winnipeg (Canada), and first reported at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, consisted of interviews of 13 nurses -- no performance testing, purely self-reported data.   While there may be qualitative information that comes from such a study that is of interest, it is too small and too loose a process for employers to use as a basis for setting policy.  We're not trying to take anything away from the good work of the researchers.  And, the National Shiftwork Information Center is already on record as being in support of naps generally (as is this blogger in particular).  But, in spite of the headline of the article referenced above, I would not want to be justifying a new napping policy for shiftworkers to a boss or board, based on a study that entailed interviewing 13 nurses.

No comments: