A scoping review of sleep education and training for nurses
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A scoping review of sleep education and training for nurses

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  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Nurs Stud
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    Shift work and resulting sleep impairment among nurses can increase their risk for poor health outcomes, occupational injuries, and errors due to sleep deficiencies. While sleep education and training for nurses has been recommended as part of a larger fatigue risk management system, little is known about training programs designed specifically for nurses.


    Investigate the literature for current sleep education or training programs specifically for shift working nurses, with intent to assess training content, delivery characteristics, and outcome measures.


    A scoping review conducted October 2020 through September 2021.


    The bibliographic databases Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), Scopus, PubMed, and NIOSHTIC-2 were searched using words such as “nurse,” “sleep hygiene,” “shift work,” and “education”. Studies were included if they: 1) were original research; 2) discussed sleep education, training, or sleep hygiene interventions; 3) included a study population of nurses engaging in shift work; 4) focused on sleep as a primary study measure; 5) were written in English language; and 6) were published in 2000 or later.


    Search results included 17,237 articles. After duplicates were removed, 14,620 articles were screened. Nine articles were found to meet established criteria. All studies included sleep hygiene content in the training programs, with five studies adding psychological and/or behavior change motivation training to support change in nurse sleep habits. Three studies added specific training for nurses and for managers. Delivery modes included in-person training of various lengths and frequency, mobile phone application with daily engagement, an online self-guided presentation, and daily reading material coupled with audio training. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale were the outcome measures most frequently used. Although studies demonstrated improved sleep measures, most were pilot studies testing feasibility.


    Although there is a paucity of studies focused on sleep education and training for shift working nurses, we found the inclusion of sleep hygiene content was the only common characteristic of all nine studies. The variability in training content, delivery methods, and outcome measures suggests further research is needed on what constitutes effective sleep education and training for nurses.

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