Study objectives: The Work, Family, and Health Network Study tested the hypothesis that a workplace intervention designed to increase family-supportive supervision and employee control over work time improves actigraphic measures of sleep quantity and quality.
Design: Cluster-randomized trial.
Setting: A global information technology firm.
Participants: US employees at an information technology firm.
Interventions: Randomly selected clusters of managers and employees participated in a 3-month, social, and organizational change process intended to reduce work-family conflict. The intervention included interactive sessions with facilitated discussions, role playing, and games. Managers completed training in family-supportive supervision.
Measurements and results: Primary outcomes of total sleep time (sleep duration) and wake after sleep onset (sleep quality) were collected from week-long actigraphy recordings at baseline and 12 months. Secondary outcomes included self-reported sleep insufficiency and insomnia symptoms. Twelve-month interviews were completed by 701 (93% retention), of whom 595 (85%) completed actigraphy. Restricting analyses to participants with ≥3 valid days of actigraphy yielded a sample of 473-474 for intervention effectiveness analyses. Actigraphy-measured sleep duration was 8 min/d greater among intervention employees relative to controls (P < .05). Sleep insufficiency was reduced among intervention employees (P = .002). Wake after sleep onset and insomnia symptoms were not different between groups. Path models indicated that increased control over work hours and subsequent reductions in work-family conflict mediated the improvement in sleep sufficiency.
Conclusions: The workplace intervention did not overtly address sleep, yet intervention employees slept 8 min/d more and reported greater sleep sufficiency. Interventions should address environmental and psychosocial causes of sleep deficiency, including workplace factors
In Press, 2014
Lawson KM, Davis KD, McHale SM, Hammer LB, Buxton OM.
Prior research shows that employees’ work experiences can “spill over” into their family lives and “cross over” to affect family members. Expanding on studies that emphasize negative implications of work for family life, this study examined positive work-to-family spillover and positive and negative crossover between mothers and their children. Participants were 174 mothers in the extended care (nursing home) industry and their children (ages 9–17), both of whom completed daily diaries on the same 8 consecutive evenings. On each workday, mothers reported whether they had a positive experience at work, youth reported on their mothers’ positive and negative mood after work, and youth rated their own mental (positive and negative affect) and physical health (physical health symptoms, sleep quality, sleep duration). Results of 2-level models showed that mothers’ positive mood after work, on average, was directly related to youth reports of more positive affect, better sleep quality, and longer sleep duration. In addition, mothers with more positive work experiences, on average, displayed less negative mood after work, and in turn, adolescents reported less negative affect and fewer physical health symptoms. Results are discussed in terms of daily family system dynamics.
Aim: To examine whether nursing homes’ quality of care was predicted by schedule control (workers’ ability to decide work hours), independently of other staffing characteristics. Method: Prospective ecological study of 30 nursing homes in New England. Schedule control was self-reported via survey in 2011-2012 (N = 1,045). Quality measures included the prevalence of decline in activities of daily living, residents’ weight loss, and pressure ulcers, indicators systematically linked with staffing characteristics. Outcomes data for 2012 were retrieved from Medicare.gov. Results: Robust Linear Regressions showed that higher schedule control predicted lower prevalence of pressure ulcers (β = −0.51, p < .05). This association was independent of staff mix, staffing ratios, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Conclusion: Higher schedule control might enhance the planning and delivery of strategies to prevent or cure pressure ulcers. Further research is needed to identify potential causal mechanisms by which schedule control could improve quality of care.
Although critical to health and well-being, relatively little research has been conducted in the organizational literature on linkages between the work–family interface and sleep. Drawing on conservation of resources theory, we use a sample of 623 information technology workers to examine the relationships between work–family conflict, family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB), and sleep quality and quantity. Validated wrist actigraphy methods were used to collect objective sleep quality and quantity data over a 1 week period of time, and survey methods were used to collect information on self-reported work–family conflict, FSSB, and sleep quality and quantity. Results demonstrated that the combination of predictors (i.e., work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, FSSB) was significantly related to both objective and self-report measures of sleep quantity and quality. Future research should further examine the work–family interface to sleep link and make use of interventions targeting the work–family interface as a means for improving sleep health.
Biomarkers are directly-measured biological indicators of disease or health. In population and social sciences, biomarkers need to be easy to obtain, transport, and analyze. Dried Blood Spot (DBS) collection meets this need, can be collected in the field with high response rates and analyzed for a variety of biomarkers.
Marino M, Li Y, Rueschman M, Winkelman JW, Ellenbogen JM, Solet JM, Dulin H, Berkman LF, Buxton OM.
Objectives: We validated actigraphy for detecting sleep and wakefulness versus polysomnography (PSG).
Design: Actigraphy and polysomnography were simultaneously collected during sleep laboratory admissions. All studies involved 8.5 h time in bed, except for sleep restriction studies. Epochs (30-sec; n = 232,849) were characterized for sensitivity (actigraphy = sleep when PSG = sleep), specificity (actigraphy = wake when PSG = wake), and accuracy (total proportion correct); the amount of wakefulness after sleep onset (WASO) was also assessed. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) model included age, gender, insomnia diagnosis, and daytime/nighttime sleep timing factors.
Setting: Controlled sleep laboratory conditions.
Participants: Young and older adults, healthy or chronic primary insomniac (PI) patients, and daytime sleep of 23 night-workers (n = 77, age 35.0 ± 12.5, 30F, mean nights = 3.2).
Measurements and Results: Overall, sensitivity (0.965) and accuracy (0.863) were high, whereas specificity (0.329) was low; each was only slightly modified by gender, insomnia, day/night sleep timing (magnitude of change < 0.04). Increasing age slightly reduced specificity. Mean WASO/night was 49.1 min by PSG compared to 36.8 min/night by actigraphy (β = 0.81; CI = 0.42, 1.21), unbiased when WASO < 30 min/night, and overestimated when WASO > 30 min/night.
Conclusions: This validation quantifies strengths and weaknesses of actigraphy as a tool measuring sleep in clinical and population studies. Overall, the participant-specific accuracy is relatively high, and for most participants, above 80%. We validate this finding across multiple nights and a variety of adults across much of the young to midlife years, in both men and women, in those with and without insomnia, and in 77 participants. We conclude that actigraphy is overall a useful and valid means for estimating total sleep time and wakefulness after sleep onset in field and workplace studies, with some limitations in specificity.
Citation: Marino M; Li Y; Rueschman MN; Winkelman JW; Ellenbogen JM; Solet JM; Dulin H; Berkman LF; Buxton OM. Measuring sleep: accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of wrist actigraphy compared to polysomnography. SLEEP 2013;36(11):1747-1755.
BACKGROUND: Nursing homes are occupational settings, with an increasing minority and immigrant workforce where several psychosocial stressors intersect.
AIM: This study aimed to examine racial/ethnic differences in job strain between Black (n = 127) and White (n = 110) immigrant and American direct-care workers at nursing homes (total n = 237).
METHODS: Cross-sectional study with data collected at four nursing homes in Massachusetts during 2006-2007. We contrasted Black and White workers within higher-skilled occupations such as registered nurses or licensed practical nurses (n = 82) and lower-skilled staff such as certified nursing assistants (CNAs, n = 155).
RESULTS: Almost all Black workers (96%) were immigrants. After adjusting for demographic and occupational characteristics, Black employees were more likely to report job strain, compared with Whites [relative risk (RR): 2.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3 to 6.6]. Analyses stratified by occupation showed that Black CNAs were more likely to report job strain, compared with White CNAs (RR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.0 to 9.4). Black workers were also more likely to report low control (RR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.1 to 4.0). Additionally, Black workers earned $2.58 less per hour and worked 7.1 more hours per week on average, controlling for potential confounders.
CONCLUSION: Black immigrant workers were 2.9 times more likely to report job strain than White workers, with greater differences among CNAs. These findings may reflect differential organizational or individual characteristics but also interpersonal or institutional racial/ethnic discrimination. Further research should consider the role of race/ethnicity in shaping patterns of occupational stress.
STUDY OBJECTIVES: o advance our understanding of the interplay of socioeconomic factors, occupational exposures, and race/ethnicity as they relate to sleep duration. We hypothesize that non Hispanic African/Caribbean immigrant employees in long term health care have shorter sleep duration than non Hispanic white employees, and that low education, low income, and occupational exposures including night work and job strain account for some of the African/Caribbean immigrant-white difference in sleep duration.
DESIGN: Cross sectional
SETTING: Four extended care facilities in Massachusetts, United States
PARTICIPANTS: 340 employees in extended care facilities
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Sleep duration was assessed with wrist actigraphy for a mean of 6.3 days. In multivariable regression modeling controlling for gender and age, African/Caribbean immigrants slept 64.4 fewer minutes (95% CI: -81.0, -47.9) per night than white participants; additional control for education and income reduced the racial gap to 50.9 minutes (-69.2, -32.5); additional control for the occupational factors of hours worked per week and working the night shift reduced the racial gap to 37.7 minutes (-57.8, -17.6).
CONCLUSIONS: his study provides support for the hypothesis that socioeconomic and occupational characteristics explain some of the African/ Caribbean immigrant-white difference in sleep duration in the United States, especially among health care workers.