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Randomized, prospective study of the impact of a sleep health program on firefighter injury and disability

Sullivan, J.P., O'Brien, C.S., Barger, L.K., Rajaratnam, S.M.W., Czeisler, C.A. and Lockley, S.W. (2017) Randomized, prospective study of the impact of a sleep health program on firefighter injury and disability Sleep, 40 (1).

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Study Objectives: Firefighters' schedules include extended shifts and long work weeks which cause sleep deficiency and circadian rhythm disruption. Many firefighters also suffer from undiagnosed sleep disorders, exacerbating fatigue. We tested the hypothesis that a workplace-based Sleep Health Program (SHP) incorporating sleep health education and sleep disorders screening would improve firefighter health and safety compared to standard practice. Design: Prospective station-level randomized, field-based intervention. Setting: US fire department. Participants: 1189 firefighters. Interventions: Sleep health education, questionnaire-based sleep disorders screening, and sleep clinic referrals for respondents who screened positive for a sleep disorder. Measurements and Results: Firefighters were randomized by station. Using departmental records, in an intention-to-treat analysis, firefighters assigned to intervention stations which participated in education sessions and had the opportunity to complete sleep disorders screening reported 46% fewer disability days than those assigned to control stations (1.4-5.9 vs. 2.6-8.5 days/firefighter, respectively; p = .003). There were no significant differences in departmental injury or motor vehicle crash rates between the groups. In post hoc analysis accounting for intervention exposure, firefighters who attended education sessions were 24% less likely to file at least one injury report during the study than those who did not attend, regardless of randomization (OR [95% CI] 0.76 [0.60, 0.98]; Χ2 = 4.56; p = .033). There were no significant changes pre-versus post-study in self-reported sleep or sleepiness in those who participated in the intervention. Conclusions: A firefighter workplace-based SHP providing sleep health education and sleep disorders screening opportunity can reduce injuries and work loss due to disability in firefighters.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
Sullivan, J.P.
O'Brien, C.S.
Barger, L.K.
Rajaratnam, S.M.W.
Czeisler, C.A.
Date : 2017
DOI : 10.1093/sleep/zsw001
Uncontrolled Keywords : Disability, Education, Firefighters, Injuries, Sleep, adult, aged, Article, controlled study, disability, female, fire fighter, health education, health program, human, injury, major clinical study, male, occupational safety, priority journal, prospective study, randomized controlled trial, self report, sleep, sleep time, somnolence, traffic accident, Accidents, Occupational, disabled person, fire fighter, health education, health promotion, middle aged, occupational health, patient referral, physiology, prevention and control, procedures, questionnaire, sleep deprivation, sleep medicine, sleep stage, Sleep Wake Disorders, statistics and numerical data, United States, workplace, young adult, Accidents, Occupational, Accidents, Traffic, Adult, Aged, Disabled Persons, Female, Firefighters, Health Education, Health Promotion, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Occupational Health, Prospective Studies, Referral and Consultation, Self Report, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Medicine Specialty, Sleep Stages, Sleep Wake Disorders, Surveys and Questionnaires, United States, Workplace, Young Adult
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 17 Jun 2020 01:05
Last Modified : 17 Jun 2020 01:05

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