Acute fatigue, workload linked to absence due to sickness among pediatric nurses

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A study, published in Journal of Advanced Nursing, examined the relationship between fatigue and sickness absence in nurses from a pediatric hospital over 12 months.

Researchers gathered baseline data on 40 nurses from an intervention study. They linked the data to absence data using the hospital's attendance records from 2012 to 2013. They measured fatigue using the Occupational Fatigue Exhaustion Recovery scale.

Researchers examined a total of 6,057 work shifts, of which 5.2 percent were absence episodes.

The study shows that with one SD increase in acute fatigue scores, as measured by the OFER scale, nurses were 1.29 times more likely to be absent from work.

Factors such as intershift recovery, perceived workload, obstructive sleep apnoea and marital status also predicted sickness absence.

"Nursing leaders can monitor these factors to reduce sickness absence and screen for sleep apnoea and assist nurses in receiving the appropriate treatments," concluded study authors.

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