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Title: Individual differences in adaptability to shiftwork : an exploration of models of shiftwork tolerance
Author: Hill, J.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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In order to refine models of shiftwork tolerance, the purported relationships between outcomes and modifiers of the adaptation process were explored. A series of empirical studies amongst shiftworkers, across a variety of work patterns and industries, examined the efficacy of demographic, circadian, personality and work-related variables as predictors of shiftwork tolerance. Trends were shown to be attenuated by shift type, industry type and the length of exposure to the shift system. Using a phenomenological approach, Study 1 conducted a series of semi-structured interviews, investigating the aetiology and management of effects through the eyes of shiftworkers themselves. Analysis of recurrent themes supported established trends in the literature and some fit with the models, highlighting both outcome, and to a lesser extent, modifier variables. New relationships were also identified. Study 2 used this information to design a questionnaire for the collection of more objective data from the same site. Outcomes were capable of being meaningfully reduced into major problem domains. The number and predictive validity of modifiers varied according to the outcome under investigation, with similarities emerging between outcomes that correlated strongly with one another. Using the same approach, Study 3 examined the effect of the type of shift worked. Extent of problems and patterns of prediction showed a strong shift-dependent effect, with reliable trends emerging between those groups involved in nightwork and those not. Study's 4 and 5 explored the effect of short-(5 weeks) and long-term (12 months) exposure. Despite predictive relationships being stronger at follow-up, they were inconsistent over time, suggesting that such interactions are an evolving process. Regardless of the type of shift, industry, or length of exposure, attitudes towards shiftwork were most strongly predicted by work-related modifiers, health outcomes by circadian/personality modifiers, and sleep duration by demographic modifiers, suggesting that specific domains are differentially mediated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available