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Sleep Disorders among Workers in an Environment with High Psychosocial Risk

Marina Samuneva-Zhelyabova, Ivaylo Zhelyabov


Introduction: Numerous workplaces are related to exposure to high psychosocial risk. Typical example for such employees are the ambulance workers. High proportion of them report serious sleep disorders.

Aim: The aim of our research is to find the frequency of sleep disorders and psychosocial risk factors among ambulance workers and the relationship between them.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted among 468 workers in 2 emergency healthcare centers. The male participants are 58.3% and 41.7% are female. The distribution by position is: nurses—35.8%, followed by ambulance drivers—26.1%, the doctors are 18.1%, the paramedics—14.2% and the orderlies—5.8%. A sociological method was used—a survey. The statistical methods included descriptive statistics and Chi-square test.

Results: The majority of the participants (70.5%) reported that psychosocial factors like shift work, night shifts, violence, stress, interpersonal conflicts have negative impact on their work. The analysis showed that 69.7% of men and 70.7% of women gave a positive answer to the question. The distribution by position was as follows:  78.8% of paramedics, followed by doctors—73.7%, nurses—71.7%, ambulance workers—67.8%, and orderlies—44.4%. The part of participants who had sleep disorders was 36.3%, from them 35.2% were men and 37.1%—women. The largest is the share of participants with sleep disorders at age over 55 years—41%, according to the distribution by position the majority were physicians—46.4%.

Conclusion: The work of the ambulance workers is stressful, overloaded, and the levels of psychosocial risk factors and sleep disorders among them are high, unhealthy and common. It is necessary to take urgent preventive measures in order to limit them.


ambulance workers, psychosocial risk factors, sleep disorders, workers in high psychosocial risk

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