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PerfectFit@Night: an integrated intervention to improve sleep and sustainable employability of night workers in the healthcare sector



Veel werknemers met nachtdiensten hebben slaapproblemen en een slechtere gezondheid, en hun duurzame inzetbaarheid is daarmee in gevaar. Erasmus MC en LUMC zijn daarom in 2019 met een pilot gestart om de gezondheid en inzetbaarheid van mensen met nachtdiensten te verbeteren: ‘Fit in de Nacht’. Het doel van het project PerfectFit@Night is het optimaliseren, personaliseren en digitaliseren van de werkzame elementen van de pilot in de ‘Fit in de Nacht’ interventie. Daarbij richt de interventie zich op de sociale en fysieke werkomgeving in combinatie met een individuele leefstijl.


De doelgroep (medewerkers en leidinggevenden van het Erasmus MC) zijn nauw betrokken bij de doorontwikkeling van de interventie. We evalueren zowel de effecten (primaire uitkomstmaten: slaapproblemen en inzetbaarheid) als de implementatie van de interventie.

Verwachte uitkomst

Indien de interventie bewezen effectief is, dan wordt de interventie toegevoegd aan de interventie database van Loket Gezond Leven.


Samenvatting van de aanvraag

Healthcare professionals need to be present 24 hours a day to ensure continuity of care in hospitals. Therefore, the healthcare sector holds one of the largest proportions of night workers. At the same time, mainly due to circadian disturbances and unhealthy behaviours, these night workers have high risks of short- and long-term health problems including fatigue, chronic stress, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. As a consequence of these adverse health effects of night work, sustainable employability is a serious threat for night workers. To date, no or limited effects have been found of workplace interventions to improve the health of night workers. Reasons for this lack of effectivity are (i) the large interindividual differences in the ability to adapt to shift work and (ii) that these interventions most often take place during regular business hours and may not reach night workers to the same extent as day workers. Up to now, interventions lack a focus on night work specific issues, such as difficulties with sleeping during the day, and eating at night when the digestive system is at rest. The ‘Fit in de Nacht’ pilot currently takes place at Erasmus MC and LUMC among employees with night shifts, and focuses on individual lifestyle behaviour and the social and physical work environment. Based on the advices of the Health Council, the usage and influence of promising intervention components (e.g. powernap capsule, workshop ‘Fit in de Nacht’, ‘Koerskaart Fit in de Nacht’, vlogs and flyers) will be tested in a controlled trial. The current application builds further on this pilot by optimizing, personalizing and digitizing the PerfectFit@Night intervention to enhance sleep and sustainable employability of night workers in the healthcare sector. To ensure a good fit of the optimized intervention, the intervention will be developed in close collaboration with clinical departments (team managers, nurses and other workers), the occupational health center of Erasmus MC, and researchers with expertise in night work, sleep and sustainable employability. Thereby, the grant application corresponds to topic C of the call ‘Effectonderzoek Kennislacunes’, which aims to research effectiveness of interventions for specific themes (sleep, sustainable employability) or target groups (workers) of which insufficient evidence-based interventions are available. The project is divided in five work packages: - In work package 1, an advisory board will be installed including relevant stakeholders representing hospital workers with night shifts at Erasmus MC, the occupational health center, and researchers. - In work package 2, the ‘Fit in de Nacht’-pilot will be optimized, personalized and digitized into PerfectFit@Night. Personalization means that tailored advices on sleep and nutrition will be offered based on specific individual characteristics (e.g. type of roster, private life, age etc.). These advices will be offered in a digital way where possible, and face-to-face when needed. - In work package 3, the PerfectFit@Night will be implemented among 300 hospital workers of 8 departments by using a stepped-wedge design. Data on sleep, sustainable employability and other secondary outcomes and covariates will be collected using questionnaires and objective measurements. - In work package 4, we evaluate the implementation by using quantitative and qualitative data from employees, managers and health professionals. By doing so, we will gain insight in the degree and quality of implementation at the level of the intervention, individual and context (e.g. organisation and policy). - In work package 5, the effectiveness of PerfectFit@Night will be evaluated on the primary (sleep and sustainable employability) and secondary outcomes (e.g. fatigue, nutrition, work-private life balance). The work package will also aim to explore whether the potential effects are moderated by implementation factors (data from work package 4). If the intervention proves to be effective for the workers, a cost-benefit and a cost-effectiveness evaluation will be conducted. If the intervention proves to be effective, the theory and rationale of PerfectFit@Night and the intervention protocol including an implementation plan will be added to the database of the ‘Loket Gezond Leven’. Moreover, we share results through presentations at (inter)national conferences, scientific papers published in international peer reviewed journals, a paper in a Dutch journal, and public friendly factsheets. A short movie and vlogs will be developed to share the results with other healthcare professionals, employers and workers with night work.


Looptijd: 87%
Looptijd: 87 %
Onderdeel van programma:
Gerelateerde subsidieronde:
Projectleider en penvoerder:
dr. K.M. Oude Hengel
Verantwoordelijke organisatie:
Erasmus Medisch Centrum