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Shift work and occupational stress in police officers.

Ma CC; Andrew ME; Fekedulegn D; Gu JK; Hartley TA; Charles LE; Violanti JM; Burchfiel CM
Saf Health Work 2015 Mar; 6(1):25-29
Background: Shift work has been associated with occupational stress in health providers and in those working in some industrial companies. The association is not well-established in the law enforcement workforce. Our objective was to examine the association between shift work and police work-related stress. Methods: The number of stressful events that occurred in the previous month and year was obtained using the Spielberger Police Stress Survey among 365 police officers aged 27-66 years. Work hours were derived from daily payroll work history records. A dominant shift (day, afternoon, or night) was defined for each participant as the shift with the largest percent of total time a participant worked (starting time from 4 am to1:59 am, 12 pm to 7:59 pm, and 8 pm to 3:59 am for day, afternoon and night, respectively) in the previous month or year. Analysis of variance and covariance were used to examine the number of total and subscale (administrative/professional pressure, physical/psychological danger, or organizational support) stressful events across shift. Results: During the previous month and year, officers working the afternoon and night shifts reported more stressful events than day shift officers for total stress, administrative/professional pressure, and physical/psychological danger (p<0.05). This association was independent of age, gender, race/ethnicity, and police rank. The frequency of these stressful events did not differ significantly between officers working the afternoon and night shifts. Conclusion: Non-day shift work was associated with police-specific stress in this cohort. Interventions to reduce or manage police stress that are tailored by shift may be considered.
Shift-work; Stress; Workers; Work-environment; Worker-health; Law-enforcement-workers; Police-officers; Age-groups; Author Keywords: occupational stress; police officer; shift work
Claudia C. MA, M. S., M. P. H., National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HELD/BEB, Mailstop L-4050, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Contract-200-2003-01580; M112014
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
Source Name
Safety and Health at Work
Performing Organization
State University of New York at Buffalo
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division