Medical error involving nurses is a critical issue since nurses' actions will have a direct and often significant effect on the prognosis of their patients. To investigate the significance of nurse health in Japan and its potential impact on patient services, a questionnaire-based survey amongst nurses working in hospitals was conducted, with the specific purpose of examining the relationship between shift work, mental health and self-reported medical errors. Multivariate analysis revealed significant associations between the shift work system, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) scores and nurse errors: the odds ratios for shift system and GHQ were 2.1 and 1.1, respectively. It was confirmed that both sleep and mental health status among hospital nurses were relatively poor, and that shift work and poor mental health were significant factors contributing to medical errors.
2010 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health