Women in shift work: A prospective cohort study of the factors that predict shift work tolerance

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/11/2016
End date: 31/12/2019
Funding: 1340000 SEK


Women appear to be more negatively impacted by shift work than men, e.g. with respect to health, sleep and accident risk, although the evidence of such a gender divide is mixed. The issue has been obscured by methodological limitations of previous research, such as a preponderance of cross-sectional studies, a failure to adequately identify and control for potential confounds, and a tendency for researchers to under-specify their participants’ shift patterns. The current study will use large-scale longitudinal data to identify which factors (i.e. psychosocial job characteristics, shift schedule features and individual differences) predict females’ tolerance of shift work. We will also examine data from male shift workers, so as to inform our understanding of the impact of gender roles and to gauge the generalizability of the findings. Some of the analyses will incorporate objective data from national registers. The project will be based on data from the Longitudinal Analysis of Nursing Education/Entry into working life study (LANE) and Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) study. We will conduct a prospective cohort study of female nurses who are followed from before their entry into working life (beginning during their education) and through the first three years of their career. We will also conduct comparisons between female and male shift workers from a large representative sample of the Swedish working population, followed biennially for up to 8 years, using both self-reported and objective register-based outcomes. As well as resulting in academic journal publications, the project will also generate set of guidelines for enhancing shift work tolerance among women. In doing so, we seek to provide important insights that will be of benefit both to female shift workers in Sweden and the society they serve.

External Partners

Last updated on 2017-11-05 at 13:47