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Validity of self-reported exposure to shift work

Harma, M; Koskinen, A; Ropponen, A; Puttonen, S; Karhula, K; Vahtera, J; Kivimaki, M; (2017) Validity of self-reported exposure to shift work. Occup Environ Med , 74 (3) pp. 228-230. 10.1136/oemed-2016-103902. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity of widely used questionnaire items on work schedule using objective registry data as reference. METHOD: A cohort study of hospital employees who responded to a self-administered questionnaire on work schedule in 2008, 2012 and 2014 and were linked to individual-level pay-roll-based records on work shifts. For predictive validity, leisure-time fatigue was assessed. RESULTS: According to the survey data in 2014 (n=8896), 55% of the day workers had at least 1 year of earlier shift work experience. 8% of the night shift workers changed to day work during the follow-up. Using pay-roll data as reference, questions on ‘shift work with night shifts’ and ‘permanent night work’ showed high sensitivity (96% and 90%) and specificity (92% and 97%). Self-reported ‘regular day work’ showed moderate sensitivity (73%), but high specificity (99%) and ‘shift work without night shifts’ showed low sensitivity (62%) and moderate specificity (87%). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the age-adjusted, sex-adjusted and baseline fatigue-adjusted association between ‘shift work without night shifts’ and leisure-time fatigue was lower for self-reported compared with objective assessment (1.30, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.82, n=1707 vs 1.89, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.39, n=1627). In contrast, shift work with night shifts, compared with permanent day work, was similarly associated with fatigue in the two assessments (2.04, 95% CI 1.62 to 2.57, n=2311 vs 1.82, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.58, n=1804). CONCLUSIONS: The validity of self-reported assessment of shift work varies between work schedules. Exposure misclassification in self-reported data may contribute to bias towards the null in shift work without night shifts.

Type: Article
Title: Validity of self-reported exposure to shift work
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/oemed-2016-103902
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2016-103902
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Cancer, Disease, Impact, Time
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1524690
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