Year of Publication

2012

Date of Thesis

06-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Despite research providing evidence for an increased prevalence of ill-health conditions, cognitive difficulties, social difficulties, and impaired work performance among night shift workers, few researchers have investigated potential causes. Grounded in occupational science theory,-occupational balance (OB) and subjective quality of life (SQOL) were investigated among shift workers. Additional analysis included an examination of health status, cognitive difficulties, social difficulties, and lifestyle choices in relation to work shift, OB, and SQOL. Twenty-one full time workers of a car parts manufacturing plant completed survey packets containing a demographic sheet, time diary, and the Psychological General Well-being Index (PGWBI). Statistically significant relationships between work shift and SQOL were found, specifically with anxiety, self-control, general health, vitality, and overall SQOL. There was no statistically significant difference between day and night shift workers for prevalence of OB. There were no statistically significant differences for work shift, OB, or SQOL scores in relation to the listed health variables. There were statistically significant relationships between work shift and SQOL with some of the cognitive and Social difficulties. Occupational balance was measured in two ways as a post hoc analysis of the relationship between SQOL and OB. There was no statistically significant relationship between SQOL and Marino-Schorn's time-based definition of OB. There were statistically significant relationships between 3 out of 6 SQOL domains and Matuska and Christiansen's needs-based definition, Life Balance (LB). Results indicated that there was poor occupational balance among the total sample of shift workers and poor subjective quality of life among night shift workers in this study. It is recommended that shift workers of various employment areas remain a target population for occupational therapy researchers.

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