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The relationship between shift work, perceived stress, sleep and health in Swiss police officers


  • Gerber, Markus
  • Hartmann, Tim
  • Brand, Serge
  • Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith
  • Pühse, Uwe


Purpose This study examined how a specific shift system was associated with stress, sleep and health among police officers. Moreover, this study investigated whether gender moderated the association between shift work and stress, sleep and health. Additional analyses were performed to find out how stress and shift work interact in explaining sleep and health.Methods The findings are based on a cross-sectional survey. A written questionnaire was sent to all employees of a local police force. 460 police officers (M = 40.67 years, SD = 9.66; 25.2% females) volunteered to take part in the study. 251 subjects were shift workers (54.6%). Police officers filled in a series of validated instruments assessing stress (TICS), perceived health (SF-12, somatic complaints, health care use) and sleep (ISI, PSQI).Results Shift work was associated with increased social stress, work discontent and sleep complaints. In turn, shift workers reported decreased use of primary health care. Moreover, stress was associated with increased sleep complaints and lower scores in perceived health. The interplay between stress and shift work did not produce any significant effects.Conclusions Workforce health promotion should make attempts to reduce chronic stress, while occupational health physicians should emphasize the diagnosis of undetected sleep disorders.

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  • Gerber, Markus & Hartmann, Tim & Brand, Serge & Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith & Pühse, Uwe, 2010. "The relationship between shift work, perceived stress, sleep and health in Swiss police officers," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1167-1175, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:6:p:1167-1175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shane, Jon M., 2010. "Organizational stressors and police performance," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 807-818, July.
    2. Violanti, John M. & Aron, Fred, 1995. "Police stressors: Variations in perception among police personnel," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 287-294.
    3. He, Ni & Zhao, Jihong & Ren, Ling, 2005. "Do race and gender matter in police stress? A preliminary assessment of the interactive effects," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 535-547.
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