Caring for the country: Fatigue, sleep and mental health in Australian rural paramedic shiftworkers

Courtney, J, Francis, A and Paxton, S 2012, 'Caring for the country: Fatigue, sleep and mental health in Australian rural paramedic shiftworkers', Journal of Community Health: the publication for health promotion and disease prevention, vol. online, pp. 1-9.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Caring for the country: Fatigue, sleep and mental health in Australian rural paramedic shiftworkers
Author(s) Courtney, J
Francis, A
Paxton, S
Year 2012
Journal name Journal of Community Health: the publication for health promotion and disease prevention
Volume number online
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Abstract This study investigated sleep quality, fatigue, mental health and physical activity in rural paramedic shiftworkers. Although limited, previous studies have associated high fatigue levels and poorer health in this sector with shiftwork rostering and occupational demands. A modified version of the Standard Shiftwork Index was completed by 150 paramedics (117 male and 31 females) from rural Victoria. Single sample t tests found significantly higher levels of fatigue, depression, anxiety, and stress, and significantly poorer sleep quality than reference samples. Paramedics also reported less physical activity than community samples. By regression analysis, sleep quality explained the greatest amount of variance in fatigue scores, followed by depression and age. No gender differences in levels of depression or fatigue were found. Consistent with an earlier study of metropolitan paramedics based on the same methodology, findings suggest rural ambulance paramedic shiftworkers are at particular risk for increased levels of fatigue and depression (regardless of age or gender) and poor quality sleep. Organisational intervention was suggested.
Subject Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Keyword(s) Ambulance
Depression
Fatigue
Paramedic
Shiftwork
Sleep quality
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s10900-012-9599-z
Copyright notice © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
ISSN 1573-3610
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Created: Mon, 10 Dec 2012, 08:32:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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