This study prospectively examined the effects of a change of shift schedule from a fast forward-rotating schedule to a slowly backward-rotating one. The initial schedule had a forward rotation from mornings to afternoons to nights over 6 consecutive days, with 2 days on each shift followed by 4 days off before the next iteration of the cycle, whereas the new schedule had a slower backward rotation from mornings to nights to afternoons, with 3 days on a given shift followed by 3 days off before the next shift. Shift workers (n = 118) were compared with a reference group of daytime workers (n = 67) from the same manufacturing plant by means of questionnaires covering subjective health, sleep and fatigue, recovery ability, satisfaction with work hours, work-family interface, and job demands, control, and support. Data were collected 6 months before implementing the new schedule and at a follow-up 15 months later. As predicted, on most dimensions measured the shift workers displayed clear improvements from initially poorer scores than daytime workers, and the daytime workers displayed no improvements. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
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