Assessing the relationships between nurse work hours/overtime and nurse and patient outcomes: Systematic literature review

Sung Heui Bae, Donna Fabry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The effects of work hours/overtime on nurse and patient outcomes and specific components of work hours (per shift and per week) and overtime on these effects have not been systematically examined. Purpose: The purpose of this review was to systematically evaluate the effect of nurse overtime and long work hours on nurse and patient outcomes. Methods: An online search of six electronic bibliographic databases was conducted for research published from 2000 to2013. Discussion: Twenty-one nurse outcome measures and 19 patient outcome measures were found in relationships with work hours and overtime. A total of 67 relationships to nurse outcomes and 41 relationships to patient outcomes were examined. Conclusions: The findings of this review suggested that evidence supporting positive relationships between working long hours and adverse outcomes to the nurses is strong. However, to make a conclusion of the positive relationship between long work hours and adverse patient outcomes, more evidence is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-156
Number of pages19
JournalNursing Outlook
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to acknowledge Jin Young Seo and Hongjuan Jing for their work in assisting with the data collection. The School of Nursing Garman Funding at the University at Buffalo partially provided funding for this research.

Keywords

  • Adverse nurse outcomes
  • Adverse patient outcomes
  • Nurse overtime
  • Nurse work hours

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