Shift workers are exposed to more physical and psychosocial stressors in the working environment as compared to day workers. Despite the need for targeted prevention, it is likely that workplace interventions less frequently reach shift workers. The aim was therefore to investigate whether the reach of workplace interventions varied between shift workers and day workers and whether such differences could be explained by the quality of leadership exhibited at different times of the day.
We used questionnaire data from 5361 female care workers in the Danish eldercare sector. The questions concerned usual working hours, quality of leadership, and self-reported implementation of workplace activities aimed at stress reduction, reorganization of the working hours, and participation in improvements of working procedures or qualifications.
Compared with day workers, shift workers were less likely to be reached by workplace interventions. For example, night workers less frequently reported that they had got more flexibility (OR 0.5; 95 % CI 0.3-0.7) or that they had participated in improvements of the working procedures (OR 0.6; 95 % CI 0.5-0.8). Quality of leadership to some extent explained the lack of reach of interventions especially among fixed evening workers.
In the light of the evidence of shift workers' stressful working conditions, we suggest that future studies focus on the generalizability of results of the present study and on how to reach this group and meet their needs when designing and implementing workplace interventions.