• HemaMalini rv SRM Medical college Hospital & research center
  • Krishnamurthy N
  • Prabhavathi K
  • Saravanan A



 Objective: In this modern society, 24 hrs continuous operation has become mandatory in many fields. Long and variable working hours for the shift workers lead to inadequate sleep. Hence, the objective of this study was to analyze the impact of rotating shift work on their psychological health and memory performance.

Methods: 40 healthy male security guards (25-35 years) who did rotating night shifts at least for 1 year and 40 day workers (25-35 years) who did not do night shift in last 2 years were involved in the study. Psychological health status was assessed using Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) questionnaire. Their memory performances were assessed by digit symbol substitution test, letter cancellation test, word recall, and object recall. Data were analyzed using SPSS-20.

Result: For assessing DASS questionnaire, Chi-square test was done. Among night shift workers, 60% significantly suffered from mild depression and 40% from moderate depression, 37.5% from mild stress, 52.5% from moderate stress, 45% from mild anxiety. 10% of the day workers suffered only from mild stress. Student's unpaired t-test showed a significant difference (p<0.05) for all the memory tests performed between night shift and day workers. Spearman correlation analysis was done and found to have a weak correlation between the memory performance and the psychological health status of the night shift workers.

Conclusion: Rotating night shift workers who are prone to the circadian rhythm alteration suffer more from depression and stress than anxiety. There is deterioration in the memory performance and psychological health of the night shift workers when compared to day workers. Hence, psychological health status should be monitored regularly, and those who can cope up with night shift duties can continue, and others may be transferred to day shift.

Keywords: Shift workers, Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Memory, Circadian rhythm.


Rouch I, Wild P, Ansiau D, Marquié JC. Shiftwork experience, age and cognitive performance. Ergonomics 2005;48(10):1282-93.
2. Venkatashiva Reddy B, Gupta A, Lohiya A, Kharya P. Mental health issues and challenges in India: A review. Int J Sci Res Publ 2013;3(2):1-3.
3. Lovibond SH, Lovibond PF. Manual for the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales. 2nd ed. Sydney: Psychology Foundation; 1995.
4. Mlinaries R, Keieman O, Sefesik T, Nemeth D. Cognitive impairment in patients with alcoholism after long term abstinence. Neuropsychopharmacology (Hung) 2009;11(3):135-9.
5. Riedel W, Hogervorst E, Leboux R, Verhey F, van Praag H, Jolles J. Caffeine attenuates scopolamine-induced memory impairment in humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1995;122(2):158-68.
6. Mainela-Arnold E, Evans JL. Beyond capacity limitations: Determinants of word recall performance on verbal working memory span tasks in children with SLI. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2005;48(4):897-909.
7. Chang YS, Wu YH, Hsu CY, Tang SH, Yang LL, Su SF. Impairment of perceptual and motor abilities at the end of a night shift is greater in nurses working fast rotating shifts. Sleep Med 2011;12(9):866-9.
8. Shwetha B, Sudhakar H. Influence of shift work on cognitive performance in male business process outsourcing employees. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2012;16(3):114-8.
9. Scoville WB, Milner B. Loss of recent memory after bilateral hippocampal lesions 1957. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 2000;12(1):103-13.
10. Hwang DY, Golby AJ. The brain basis for episodic memory: Insights from functional MRI, intracranial EEG, and patients with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2006;8(1):115-26.
11. Thomas M, Sing H, Belenky G, Holcomb H, Mayberg H, Dannals R, et al. Neural basis of alertness and cognitive performance impairments during sleepiness. I. Effects of 24 h of sleep deprivation on waking human regional brain activity. J Sleep Res 2000;9(4):335-52.
12. Valdez P, Ramirez C, Garcia A, Talamentis L, Armijo P, Borani J. Circadian rhythms in components of attention. Biol Rhythm Res 2005;36:56-65.
13. Saricaoglu F, Ackinci SB, Gozacan A, Guner B, Rezaki M, Aypar U. The Effect of day andnight shift working on the attention and anxiety levels of anesthesia residents. Turk Psikiyatri Derg 2005;16:2
14. Forest G, Godbout R. Effects of sleep deprivation on performance and EEG spectral analysis in young adults. Brain Cogn 2000;43(1-3):195-200.
15. Drummond SP, Brown GG. The effects of total sleep deprivation on cerebral responses to cognitive performance. Neuropsychopharmacology 2001;25 5 Suppl: S68-73.
16. Alhola P, Tallus M, Kylmälä M, Portin R, Polo-Kantola P. Sleep deprivation, cognitive performance, and hormone therapy in postmenopausal women. Menopause 2005;12:149-55.
17. Elovainio M, Ferrie JE, Singh-Manoux A, Gimeno D, De Vogli R, Shipley MJ, et al. Cumulative exposure to high-strain and active jobs as predictors of cognitive function: The Whitehall II study. Occup Environ Med 2009;66(1):32-7.
18. McGaugh JL, Roozendaal B. Role of adrenal stress hormones in forming lasting memories in the brain. Curr Opin Neurobiol 2002;12(2):205-10.
19. Waterhouse JM, Folkard S, Minors DS. Shiftwork, health and safety. An over view of the scientific literature 1978-1990. HSE Contract Research Report No 31. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO); 1992.
20. Saricaoğlu F, Akinci SB, Gözaçan A, Güner B, Rezaki M, Aypar U. The effect of day and night shift working on the attention and anxiety levels of anesthesia residents. Turk Psikiyatri Derg 2005;16(2):106-12.
21. Geiger-Brown J, Muntaner C, Lipscomb J, Trinkoff A. Demanding work schedules and mental health in nursing assistants working in nursing homes. Work Stress 2004;18(4):292-304.
22. Scott AJ, Monk TH, Brink LL. Shiftwork as a risk factor for depression: A pilot study. Int J Occup Environ Health. 1997;3 Suppl 2:S2-9.
23. Bildt C, Michelsen H. Gender differences in the effects from working conditions on mental health: A 4-year follow-up. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2002;75:252-8.
24. Skipper JK Jr, Jung FD, Coffey LC. Nurses and shiftwork: Effects on physical health and mental depression. J Adv Nurs 1990;15(7):835-42.
25. Parkes KR. Shiftwork, job type, and the work environment as joint predictors of health related outcomes. J Occup Health Psychol 1999;4:256-68.
26. Bara AC, Arber S. Working shifts and mental health – Findings from the British Household Panel Survey (1995-2005). Scand J Work Environ Health 2009;35(5):361-7.
271 Views | 1321 Downloads
How to Cite
rv, H., K. N, P. K, and S. A. “INFLUENCE OF SHIFT WORK ON PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH AND MEMORY PERFORMANCE”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 7, no. 5, Nov. 2014, pp. 75-77,
Original Article(s)